Freshwater Protected Area Resourcbook

Sizin üçün oyun:

Google Play'də əldə edin


Yüklə 1.93 Mb.
səhifə4/58
tarix05.09.2018
ölçüsü1.93 Mb.
1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   ...   58

1.6 Protection of high conservation value rivers:

1.6.1 Context of a protective framework:


‘Rivers’ in the discussion below are defined as including estuaries. At the simplest possible level, a national framework for the protection of HCV rivers must consist of three essential elements:

  • agreement by Australia governments on how HCV rivers34 should be identified and selected;

  • a list of HCV rivers developed from that agreement; and

  • ways of linking that list with environmental assessment, control and planning mechanisms, as well as protected area reservation programs35.

Australia’s endorsement of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands has provided a national framework for the protection of high conservation value inland aquatic ecosystems, including rivers. An advantage of expanding this framework (rather than developing a new one) by the inclusion of Australia’s most important natural rivers is that the framework is already accepted by all Australian States, and to some extent protective mechanisms already exist in both Commonwealth and State legislation, policy and conservation programs.


To date, no main river channels have been listed in Australia in isolation from associated floodplain wetlands or estuaries. While use of the Ramsar framework could assist in river conservation, the framework is one of many management approaches, and additional protective management tools are warranted to protect the full range of inland aquatic ecosystems (see Chapter 7).
In a more general context, a framework needs to relate to threats facing rivers and estuaries36. While a wide variety of threats exists, the three most important are probably: (a) invasive species (pests and weeds), (b) water extraction, drainage and diversion, and (c) catchment land use changes.
A framework also needs to meet certain criteria: it needs to be logical, cost-effective, simple, and flexible. It should also be responsive to issues of scale. As well, a staged approach may be necessary: if the proposed framework contains elements which are entirely new, or which require considerable community debate, such elements need to be developed in a second phase.
Both on-reserve and off-reserve protection will be important. A framework should extend the concept of aquatic protected areas past the current river programs in Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory. Aquatic reserves protecting wetlands are well accepted across Australia, and some small marine reserves protecting parts of estuaries have been established by most States; however most States have not established riverine protected areas, or protected catchments (Victoria and the ACT being notable exceptions).

1.6.2 The range of protective instruments:


Potential managerial tools applicable to the protection of high conservation value rivers are discussed in more detail in Chapters 6 and more particularly 7. Whitten et al. (2002) provide detailed information on incentive opportunities. General approaches in terms of both incentives and prohibitions are summarised below:
Table 1.3, Protective mechanisms applicable to rivers:

Commonwealth




Incentives

Prohibitions

General

Funding programs under NAP and NHT bilateral agreements are aimed at good natural resource management. These are discussed in more detail in Appendices Three and Four below.

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). Major development proposals may be prohibited or restricted if they are likely to degrade environments of international importance.

Specific area

The NHT can fund plans or works applicable to special places.

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 – as above. Where the Commonwealth Government has jurisdiction (eg: on Commonwealth Government land, or on designated Ramsar sites, or places on the National Heritage List) specific statutory prohibitions may be applied, or specific management regimes promoted.

States




Incentives

Prohibitions

General

All States have now established regional NRM frameworks with the ability to fund a wide variety of activities generally aimed at sustainable natural resource management. Some of these frameworks have been established by policy (eg: Western Australia) while others have been established by statute (eg: South Australia and Tasmania).

Three States (Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales) had pre-existing statutory catchment management frameworks in place prior to the development of regional NRM frameworks. The Victorian Catchment Management Authorities were alone in being able to raise independent funds through local government rating arrangements; however these powers were, unfortunately, withdrawn by the Victorian State Government in 1999.



A complex array of State statutes have the ability to impose prohibitions or controls on developments. For the purposes of this discussion, the most important statutes relate to:

  1. fisheries controls

  2. environmental assessment of major projects;

  3. land use planning (many provisions apply through local government);

  4. pollution control;

  5. control of invasive species;

  6. protection of threatened species and critical habitat; and

  7. water resource management 37.







Incentives

Prohibitions

Specific area

Some States (eg: Victoria and NSW) have statutes enabling 'joint management areas' to be created, where State funds can flow to encourage specified activities on privately-owned freehold land, under a formal government / landowner agreement. Another similar mechanism is provided for by informal voluntary landowner agreements 38 although here the level of government support is much reduced.

All States have statutes enabling the declaration of protected areas (or reserves) on crown, and sometimes freehold land. Victoria, for example, protects many wetlands under the Crown Land (Reserves) Act, and the National Parks Act.

Some States have statutes specifically designed to create aquatic protected areas. These are summarised in Table 1.1.



Local government:

Local government, in the main, operates through powers endowed by statute in each Australian State or Territory. As the third tier of Australian government, local municipalities can:



  • own and manage land;

  • raise funds through rates (and thus offer rate concessions);

  • receive and manage special purpose funds from State or Commonwealth sources; and

  • through their land use planning and development consent provisions they can influence a variety of threats to freshwater ecosystems relating to land development.

In some States local government can raise special-purpose environmental levies, collected as an adjunct to municipal rates.

The natural resource management regional planning arrangements (see below) which have evolved over the last five years as the result of Commonwealth-State bilateral agreements operate (in the absence of statutory NRM or ICM authorities) through State and local government administrative frameworks, making local governments powerful partners in managing the nation’s land and water.






Incentives

Prohibitions

General

As partners within Australia’s regional NRM planning framework, local governments can sponsor or partner programs like Landcare and Waterwatch.

Land use zoning controls can prohibit types of activities in designated areas of the municipality. These controls, as well as concurrent strategic planning responsibilities, can be used to manage threats (such as land drainage) to sensitive aquatic ecosystems.

In some States, local government has delegated responsibilities under State pollution control legislation, providing municipalities with opportunities to influence many aspects of the water environment, in particular water quality.



Specific area

Local governments can create and manage conservation reserves on municipal land.

As NRM partners, municipalities can offer landowners rate relief in exchange for conservation work or environmental programs on private land.



Development consent provisions can allow municipalities to assess and exclude specific developments from sensitive locations or their buffers. Alternatively, developments may be permitted under conditions designed to minimise environmental effects.

If a national framework is to be put in place to protect rivers of high conservation value, choices can be made about the instruments of protection. At a bare minimum, two of the above eight 'areas of control' could be selected to focus protective programs (for example, regional NRM planning programs could focus both State and Commonwealth funds into protective programs). A more ambitious framework would seek to influence all eight areas to a lesser or greater extent.


In choosing elements of a national framework, two models (at least) should be considered. The simplest model is the non-statutory approach, based on bilateral Commonwealth-State agreements (or a single multilateral agreement (eg: the InterGovernmental Agreement on the Environment 1992). This simple model would allow State government maximum flexibility. This model is also likely to hinge on a high degree of community support. This model would rely entirely on administrative programs already in place; no new legislation would be developed.
A more complex, less flexible, but arguably more effective model would embed the protective regime, to varying degrees, in statute. This model is of course more difficult to create, needing, in its most complex form, one special-purpose statute combined with amendments to several other statutes (in each State).
The Canadian Heritage Rivers System (CHRS) represents a good example of the first (non-statutory) model, while the Victorian Heritage Rivers Program (largely resting on the Heritage Rivers Act 1992 – see Appendix 16) represents an example of the second (statutory) approach.

1.6.3 Linkages to wider protective mechanisms


Due to the complexity of existing administrative arrangements, it is appropriate here to summarise opportunities for developing linkages between heritage river protection and wider land management frameworks. For a more detailed discussion refer to Chapter 7.
Table 1.4: Linking existing protective mechanisms with HCV river protection:

Commonwealth




Incentives

Prohibitions

General

NAP and NHT bilateral agreements should be modified to require the identification and protection of HCV rivers in the development of accredited regional NRM plans.

Where proposed developments affect rivers placed on the National Heritage List, additional scrutiny could be required under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Specific

The NHT can fund plans or works applicable to special places, and these provisions should be used in both developing regional NRM plans, and in developing specific management plans for HCV river areas.

Rivers can be placed on the National Heritage List (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999) Such listing would empower the Act in relation to developments which might affect identified river values.

Where the Commonwealth Government has jurisdiction (on Commonwealth land, for example) specific statutory prohibitions may be applied to protect designated rivers.



States




Incentives

Prohibitions

General

HCV rivers could be identified and protected through existing catchment management and NRM planning frameworks.

State statutes have the ability to impose prohibitions, and additional scrutiny could be place on proposals likely to affect the values of HCV rivers. Key statutes cover:

  • fisheries controls

  • environmental assessment of major projects;

  • land use planning (many provisions apply through local government);

  • pollution control;

  • control of invasive species;

  • protection of threatened species and critical habitat; and

  • water resource management39.

Specific

Some States (eg: Victoria and NSW) have statutes enabling joint management areas to be created, where State funds can flow to encourage specified activities on privately-owned freehold land. Another similar mechanism is provided for by in-formal voluntary conservation agreements 40. These mechanisms could be used to provide buffer and catchment management around designated HCV rivers.

All States have statutes enabling the declaration of protected areas (or reserves) on crown, and sometimes freehold land. Victoria, for example, protects many wetlands under the Crown Land (Reserves) Act, and the National Parks Act.

Some States have statutes specifically designed to create aquatic protected areas. These are summarised in Attachment One. These provisions could be used to protect designated HCV rivers.



Local government:




Incentives

Prohibitions

General

Programs under municipal sponsorship, such as Landcare and Waterwatch, could be focused to provide additional protection to HCV rivers.

Strategic use of land use zoning controls could be used to provide HCV rivers with additional ‘buffer’ protection from the effects of land uses such as land levelling, draining, levee construction and irrigation.

Where municipalities have pollution management and water quality control programs, these could be used to provide additional direct and buffer protection to designated HCV rivers.



Specific

Conservation reserves on municipal land could be used to encompass, or provide buffer protection for HCV rivers.

Municipalities could offer landowners rate relief in exchange for conservation works or environmental programs on private land targeted to protect HCV rivers.



Additional scrutiny could be applied to specific development proposals likely to impact, directly or indirectly, on the values of HCV rivers in the municipality.

In conclusion, there are strong arguments for (a) expanding the existing Ramsar frameworks in States to include Australia’s most important near-pristine rivers, and (b) developing additional river protection initiatives modelled either on Canada’s Heritage Rivers System, or Victoria’s Heritage Rivers Act 1992.




Dostları ilə paylaş:
1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   ...   58
Orklarla döyüş:

Google Play'də əldə edin


Verilənlər bazası müəlliflik hüququ ilə müdafiə olunur ©muhaz.org 2017
rəhbərliyinə müraciət

    Ana səhifə