The NSW government has set a target of zero extinctions of native wildlife in the state’s national parks estate, the first time an Australian government has set the goal.
The Guardian reports that the environment minister, Matt Kean, said the target, which will apply to all parklands in NSW, was a response to the continued decline of threatened plants and animals and Australia’s status as the country with the highest rate of mammal extinctions.
“Globally, one million species face extinction over the coming decades and, as international biodiversity negotiations continue, everyone needs to aim high,” Kean said.
“Just as we have a net zero emissions target, we now also have a target of zero extinctions for our national parks, and are aiming to improve and stabilise the on-park trajectory of threatened species by 2030,” Kean said.
Environmental advocates welcomed the announcement but noted it covered less than 10% of the state.
They called on other states and the federal government to adopt their own zero extinctions targets ahead of global biodiversity talks next year.
Kean has also announced a further 221 sites will be given special protected status to try to ensure their survival for future generations.
The new sites will be declared assets of intergenerational significance (AIS), joining the Wollemi pines, which earlier this year became the first to receive the special status.
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