The Nature Conservation Council today unveiled a comprehensive plan to pull koalas back from the brink of extinction and double their numbers by 2050.
The Koalas Need Trees campaign is underpinned by a policy agenda that includes:
- Adding of 200,000 hectares of koala forest to the national parks estate;
- Banning the destruction of koala habitat, on both public and private land;
- A $1 billion koala conservation and restoration fund; and
- Ending native forest logging.
“Koalas in NSW are on death row,” Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said.
“Business as usual is simply no longer an option – this is an emergency that requires drastic action.
“Their numbers were plummeting before the Black Summer bushfires killed thousands of koalas and incinerated millions of hectares of forest.
“We need a step-change in our conservation efforts or koalas will join the Tasmanian Tiger as an emblem of our failure as ecological stewards.
“The Koalas Need Trees policy platform represents the minimum required to ensure koalas don’t become this generation’s Tasmanian Tiger.
“This is far too important to leave it to politicians.”
Mr Gambian said any credible strategy for the species’ long-term future must include a strict ban on the destruction of koala forests and significant investment in new nature reserves, habitat restoration and ecological research.
“All parties have failed to arrest the decline of this iconic species because they have not taken the bold action required,” he said.
“This issue is above politics – it is now time all parties worked together to implement the solutions we need.”
The Nature Conservation Council is working with environment groups and nature lovers across the state to convince all political parties to endorse the Koalas Need Trees 15-point policy plan.