Freshwater Protected Area Resourcbook

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The
Australian Freshwater Protected Area Resourcebook:
the policy background, role and importance of protected areas for Australian inland aquatic ecosystems

Editors

Jon Nevill

Ngaire Phillips
for the

Australian Society for Limnology

Representative Reserves Working Group
1 March 2004; version 1.056
OnlyOnePlanet.com.au

CATALOGUE AND COPYRIGHT INFORMATION


© Jon Nevill and Ngaire Phillips, 2004.
Keywords: freshwater, protected areas, governance, natural resource management, biological diversity, freshwater ecosystems, freshwater biodiversity, freshwater reserves, representative reserves, inventories, limnology, aquatic, rivers, wetlands, estuaries, stygofauna, catchment management.
Publisher: OnlyOnePlanet Australia (PO Box 106 Hampton 3188 Australia) for the Australian Society for Limnology Representative Reserves Working Group. Electronic copies are available from www.onlyoneplanet.com.au.
Copyright: Information presented in this document may be reproduced in whole or in part for study or training purposes, subject to the inclusion of acknowledgment of the source and provided no commercial usage or sale of the material occurs. Reproduction for purposes other than those given above requires written permission from the publisher. Requests for permission should be addressed to Jon Nevill, OnlyOnePlanet Australia, PO Box 106, Hampton, Victoria 3188, Australia.
Citation: this report may be cited as: Nevill J, and Phillips N (eds)(2004) The Australian Freshwater Protected Area Resourcebook: the policy background, role and importance of protected areas for Australian inland aquatic ecosystems. OnlyOnePlanet Australia; Hampton Melbourne.
Disclaimer: the views expressed in this report are not necessarily those of the Australian Society for Limnology or WWF Australia. Where differing viewpoints exist within the working or reference groups, this is noted in endnotes. No absolute guarantees can be given for the accuracy of information contained herein, and readers should check where necessary before making relevant commercial decisions.
Credits: Hardcopy cover design: Lena Nappa Design; cover photograph: Karlie Hawking; printed by Qprint Canberra. Acknowledgements: see Chapter 2.
For further information about this report, contact Jon Nevill, working group convenor, phone: (Australia) 0422 926 515; email jonathan.nevill@gmail.com; address: PO Box 106, Hampton Victoria 3188 Australia.
ISBN: 0-646-43256-7.

The Australian Freshwater Protected Area Resourcebook

the policy background, role and importance of protected areas for Australian inland aquatic ecosystems

2004
Jon Nevill and Ngaire Phillips (editors)

Australian Society for Limnology Representative Reserves Working Group


Structure (see the Contents List on page 4 for page numbers)

1. Summary

2. Introduction

3. Reserves in terrestrial and marine environments

4. The need for representative freshwater protected areas

5. Australian inventories of freshwater ecosystems

6. Australian and New Zealand aquatic protection programs

7. Protecting high value rivers: elements of a national framework

8. The direction of current programs and the need for action

9. Conclusions

10. Recommendations

11. Bibliography

12. Abbreviations

13. Appendices

1. Summary and objectives of IUCN Protected Area Management Categories.

2. Freshwater biodiversity conservation: international and national agreements:

3. Freshwater biodiversity conservation: Commonwealth programs.

4. Freshwater biodiversity conservation: State programs.

5. Methods for waterway classification and assessment.

6. New Zealand Resource Management Act 1991: extracts.

7. Value and importance criteria.

8. Definitions of “wetland”.

9. Wetland classification: national directory.

10. Tasmania: Conservation of Freshwater Ecosystem Values Project.

11. Membership: ASL representative reserves working group.

12. The Wentworth Group: water recommendations 2002.

13. The 2003 amendments to the EPBC Act.

14. The Canadian Heritage Rivers System.

15. Managing the cumulative effects of incremental development.

16. Extracts from Victoria’s Heritage Rivers Act 1999.

17. New Zealand’s ‘Waters of National Importance’ initiative.

18. IUCN World Conservation Congress resolution on freshwater protected areas.

19. Criteria for protected area identification and selection.

20. Protected area logic and management.

21. Australian and New Zealand Water Quality Guidelines: risk-based approach.



14. End notes

Dedicated to those without voices.
There is in the community a view that the conservation of biological diversity also has an ethical basis. We share the earth with many other life forms which warrant our respect, whether or not they are of benefit to us. Earth belongs to the future as well as the present; no single species or generation can claim it as its own.
Source: Government of Australia (1996:2) National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia’s Biological Diversity. Department of the Environment and Heritage, Australia; Canberra.
The Australian Freshwater Protected Area Resourcebook

Contents

1. Summary 10

1.1 Abstract 10

1.2 Project genesis 10

1.3 Biodiversity: importance of representative protected areas 11

1.4 The wider role of freshwater protected areas 11

1.5 State commitments and programs: 12

Table 1.1 Administrative models for establishing aquatic protected areas: 13

Table 1.2 State representative freshwater reserve commitments and programs 14

1.6 Protection of high conservation value rivers: 16

1.6.1 Context of a protective framework: 16

1.6.2 The range of protective instruments: 17

1.6.3 Linkages to wider protective mechanisms 19

1.7 Overview of recommendations: 21

2. Introduction 23

2.1 Objectives of this book 23

2.2 The Australian Society for Limnology 23

2.3 Acknowledgments 24

2.4 Scope and terminology 25

2.5 Aquatic protected areas in brief 27

2.6 Limitations to the representative reserve approach 28

2.6.1 Rivers of the far north: 28

2.6.2 Unique ecosystems: 29

2.6.3 Sympathetic management outside the reserve network: 30



3. Reserves in terrestrial and marine environments 31

3.1 Terrestrial protected areas 31

3.1.1 Commonwealth and State responsibilities 31

3.1.2 Historical perspective 31

3.1.3 Growth of concerns over gaps in the reserve system 32

3.1.4 Representative reserves: a national perspective 33

3.1.5 The IBRA regionalisation framework 34

3.1.6 Regional Forest Agreements 35

3.1.7 Funding the National Reserves System 35

3.2 Marine protected areas 36

3.2.1 Marine reserves: the Great Barrier Reef 36

3.2.2 Development of strategic marine reserve planning 37

3.2.3 The Oceans Policy 38

3.2.4 National Representative System of Marine Protected Areas 38

3.2.5 IMCRA: an ecosystem-based regionalisation of Australia’s oceans 40

3.3 Implications for the development of representative freshwater reserves 40



4. The need for representative freshwater protected areas 42

4.1 Australian freshwater ecosystems 42

4.2 Threatening processes 43

4.2.1 Extraction of surface or groundwater flows 44

4.2.2 Stream regulation, agricultural drainage, and levee banks 45

4.2.3 Habitat degradation stemming other activities 46

4.2.4 Water pollution from agricultural, urban and industrial sources 47

4.2.5 Invasive species 47

4.2.6 Structures impeding the passage of fish on life-cycle journeys. 48

4.2.7 Direct and indirect effects of mining operations 48

4.2.8 Threatening processes: a summary 48

4.3 The roles of freshwater protected areas 49

4.3.1 Protection of biodiversity 50

4.3.2 Protection of other ecological values 51

4.3.3 Provision of benchmarks 52

4.4 Assessing the effects of freshwater protected areas 52



5. Inventories of freshwater ecosystems 55

5.1 Inventories: an introduction 55

5.2 The need for inventories: 55

5.3 Inventories and reserves: 56

5.4 Inventory construction 57

5.5 National and regional inventories: 59

5.5.1 National Directory of Important Wetlands 59

5.5.2 Wild rivers database 60

5.5.3 National Land and Water Resources Audit: 60

5.5.3b Australian approaches to waterway assessment: 61

Table 5.5.3.1 Summary of Australian methods for waterway assessment 62

5.5.4 National and State estuary inventories: 68

5.5.5 Wetlands in the Murray-Darling: 70

5.5.6 Inventories of subterranean freshwater ecosystems 70

5.6 A note on bioregionalisation 71

5.6.1 Terrestrial bioregions: 71

5.6.2 Marine bioregions: 71

5.6.3 Freshwater bioregions: 71

5.7 State inventories of ecosystems: 72

5.7.1 Associated inventories: 72

5.7.2 Australian Capital Territory 73

Rivers 73

Wetlands 73

Aquifers 73

5.7.3 New South Wales 73

Rivers 73

Wetlands 74

Aquifers 75

5.7.4 Northern Territory 75

Rivers 75

Wetlands 75

Aquifers 76

5.7.5 Queensland 76

Rivers 76

Wetlands 76

Aquifers 77

5.7.6 South Australia 77

Rivers 77

Wetlands 77

Aquifers 78

5.7.7 Tasmania 78

Rivers 78

Wetlands 79

Aquifers 79

Related inventories: 79

5.7.8 Victoria 79

Rivers 79

Wetlands 80

Aquifers 81

Victorian Water Resources Data Warehouse 81

Related inventories 82

5.7.9 Western Australia 82

Rivers 82

Wetlands 82

Aquifers 82

5.7.10 Overview 83

5.7.11 Assessing State inventories 84

5.8 Inventories in New Zealand 85

5.9 Recommendations regarding inventory development: 86

6. Australian and New Zealand protection programs: 88

6.1 Australian national commitments 88

6.1.1 Policy background 88

6.1.2 The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 89

6.1.3 The MDBC native fish strategy 90

6.1.4 Funding incentives 90

6.1.5 The Commonwealth: future directions 91

6.1.5.1 The National Reserves System 91

6.1.5.2 Encouragement of sympathetic land management 92

6.2 Australian State commitments 93

6.2.1 Australian Capital Territory 93

6.2.2 New South Wales 93

6.2.3 Northern Territory 94

6.2.4 Queensland 95

6.2.5 South Australia 97

6.2.6 Tasmania 98

6.2.7 Victoria 99

6.2.8 Western Australia 100

6.2.9 Summary table:
State freshwater biodiversity program components 102

6.2.10 Summary table: State


representative reserve commitments & programs 103

6.3 New Zealand freshwater programs 104

6.3.1 State of NZ freshwater biodiversity 104

6.3.2 NZ policy commitments 105

6.3.3 NZ programs and protected areas 106

6.3.4 New Zealand summary 108



7. Protecting high value rivers:
elements of a national framework: 110

7.1 Introduction: 110

7.2 Summary: 111

7.3 The existing Ramsar framework: 111

7.4 International context: 112

7.5 Natural values: 113

7.6 Australian models for a national framework: 114

7.7 Framework requirements: 115

7.8 Framework should be logical: 116

7.9 Framework should be cost-effective: 118

7.10 Framework should be simple: 119

7.11 Framework should be flexible: 121

7.12 Responsive to issues of scale: 123

7.13 A phased approach: 124

7.13.1 Victoria's Heritage River Act 1992: 124

7.13.2 Bilateral agreements relating to overlap of State and Commonwealth powers 125

7.13.3 A national system of CAR freshwater reserves. 125

7.13.4 Natural resource accounting: 126



8. The direction of current programs and the need for action 128

8.1 To recapitulate: a historical perspective 128

8.2 Difficulties in managing aquatic protected areas 129

8.2.1 Linear connected reserves – special issues 129

8.2.2 Protected area identification and selection 130

8.3 Key questions 130



9. Conclusions 132

10. Recommendations 134

10.1 Development of a national freshwater protected area framework 134

10.2 Protection of rivers of high conservation value: 135

10.3 Sympathetic management of utilised ecosystems: 136



11. Bibliography 137

12. Abbreviations 137

13. Appendices 139

Appendix 1.


Summary and objectives of IUCN Protected Area Management Categories 139

Appendix 2:


Freshwater biodiversity conservation: international and national agreements 142

A2. International and national context 142

A2.1 The cornerstone: 142

A2.2 Development of a national biodiversity strategy 142

A2.3 CoAG Water Reform Agenda 144

A2.4 Current Australian natural resource management frameworks 144

A2.5 Freshwater biodiversity programs: an important “gap” 145

A2.6 International agreements relating to wetlands 146

A2.6.1 International Convention on Biological Diversity 1992 146

A2.6.2 Ramsar convention 146

A2.6.3 CAMBA and JAMBA 147

A2.6.4 Definitions 147

A2.6.5 Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia 147

Appendix 3.


Freshwater biodiversity conservation: Commonwealth programs 148

A3.1 The Commonwealth’s role. 148

A3.2 Commonwealth Wetlands Policy 148

A3.3 Commonwealth environmental assessment 149

A3.3.1 Cumulative effects and the need for strategic assessment frameworks 150

A3.4 Commonwealth reserve programs 151

A3.4.1 National Reserve System Program (NRSP) 151

A3.4.2 National Wetlands Program 152

A3.5 Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 153

A3.6 Freshwater reserves; the National Heritage framework 153

A3.7 National Wild Rivers Program 154

A3.8 Land and Water Australia (formerly LWRRDC) 155

A3.9 National Land and Water Resources Audit 156

A3.10 National River Health Program 157

A3.11 Murray-Darling Basin Commission 158

A3.12 Border Catchments Ministerial Forum 158

A3.13 DAFF and the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality 159

A3.14 National Rivers Consortium 160

A3.15 National Water Quality Management Strategy 161

A3.16 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation 164

A3.17 National Framework for the Management and Monitoring of Native Vegetation 164

Appendix 4.


Freshwater biodiversity conservation: State programs 165

A4.1 Overview 165

A4.1.1 Water legislation – historical overview 165

A4.1.2 State water frameworks – overview of current legislation and policy 166

A4.2 Freshwater environments in the States 168

A4.3 Victoria 168

A4.3.1 Victorian freshwater protected areas 168

A4.3.2 Victoria's biodiversity strategy 171

A4.3.3 Victorian River Health Strategy 172

A4.3.4 State Environment Protection Policy (SEPP) Waters of Victoria 173

A4.3.5 Victorian water management framework 174

A4.3.6 The Victorian situation needs review 177

A4.4 New South Wales 178

A4.4.1 Strategies for protecting freshwater biodiversity 178

A4.4.2 NSW Water management framework 182

A4.5 Queensland 186

A4.5.1 Strategies for protecting freshwater biodiversity 186

A4.5.2 Queensland's water management framework 189

A4.6 South Australia: 193

A4.6.1 Strategies for protecting freshwater biodiversity 193

A4.6.2 South Australia's water management framework 195

A4.7 Western Australia 196

A4.7.1 Strategies for protecting freshwater biodiversity 196

A4.7.2 Western Australia's water management framework 198

A4.8 Tasmania 202

A4.8.1 An inventory of freshwater ecosystems 203

A4.8.2 Existing Tasmanian strategies impacting on freshwater biodiversity 204

A4.8.3 Options for protection through reservation in Tasmania 204

A4.8.4 Tasmanian Water Legislation 205

A4.8.5 Water Development Plan: 207

A4.8.6 Proposals to construct new dams 207

A4.8.7 Fish passage 208

A4.8.8 In summary: the Tasmanian situation 208

A4.9 Northern Territory 209

A4.9.1 Strategies for protecting freshwater biodiversity 209

A4.9.2 The Northern Territory's water management framework 210

A4.10 Australian Capital Territory 211

A4.11 Summary tabulation 213

Appendix 5.
Methods for waterway classification and assessment 215

Appendix 6.


New Zealand Resource Management Act 1991: extracts 219

Appendix 7. Value and importance criteria 221

Value, importance (significance), condition and threat 221

Assessing the value of freshwater ecosystems: 222

Assessing importance or significance: 223

Ramsar criteria for designating Wetlands of International Importance 223

Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia inclusion criteria 224

Appendix 8. Definitions of “wetland” 225

Appendix 9. Wetland classification – national directory 226

Appendix 10. Tasmania:


Conservation of Freshwater Ecosystem Values Project 228

Appendix 11. Membership:


ASL representative reserves working & reference groups 231

Appendix 12. The Wentworth Group's 2002 recommendations 232

Appendix 13. The 2003 amendments to the EPBC Act 1999. 233

Appendix 14. The Canadian Heritage Rivers System 234

A14.0 National policy background 234

A14.1 Overview 234

A14.2 Administration of the CHRS 235

A14.3 Potential benefits of the CHRS 236

A14.4 The CHRS Charter 237

A14.5 Objectives and operating principles of the CHRS 238

A14.6 Principle procedures of nomination and designation 240

A14.7 Nomination guidelines 242

A14.8 Designation guidelines 245

A14.9 Management and monitoring guidelines 246

Appendix 15. Managing the cumulative effects of incremental development 247

Appendix 16. Extracts from Victoria’s Heritage Rivers Act 248

Appendix 17. The NZ ‘Waters of National Importance’ project. 250

Appendix 18. World Conservation Congress resolution on freshwater protected areas 251

Appendix 19. Criteria for protected area identification and selection 253

Rationale of proposed identification criteria: 253

Appendix 20. Protected area logic and management 256

Appendix 21. Water quality guideines: a risk-based approach: 258



14. Endnotes 262


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