Planning for the future

The 1995-96 Western Sydney Urban Bushland Survey confirmed the need to preserve what remains of the biological diversity of the region and to ensure that conservation and management of the area is undertaken in a planned and coordinated way.

As part of the survey, a set of recommendations were developed which will be used as the basis for implementing particular conservation strategies for western Sydney. These strategies encompass environmental planning, management of biodiversity and participation by the community in conservation.

Environmental Planning

Environmental planning will provide the overall operational framework for conservation of areas that are of significance for their biodiversity. Government environmental agencies such as the NPWS, planning bodies such as Planning NSW, and local councils cooperate in decision-making on development, planning and zoning issues. Results of the survey may be considered when regional and local environmental plans are being prepared particularly where issues relating to biodiversity and conservation are involved.

At the level of planning, certain principles that promote biodiversity conservation can be applied. For example, local environment plans may include provisions to retain native vegetation and protect threatened species.

In addition, the importance of conserving biodiversity should be recognised as a key element of any environmental plan. Controls may need to be developed to ensure that pollution, stormwater run-off and proposed developments do not adversely affect habitat.

Biodiversity Management

Biodiversity management is the practical aspect of conserving the biodiversity of western Sydney. The recommendations identified by the survey are there to be applied across the region through all local government areas.

To manage biodiversity at this level practical, recommendations are put forward as the basis for protecting the existing biodiversity of western Sydney. These recommendations range from encouraging bush regeneration programs by planting local native species, creating vegetation corridors that connect several vegetation habitats to retraining staff in biodiversity conservation.

Community Participation

Without participation from the community the principle of biodiversity conservation will remain a hollow one, lacking the support of local involvement. The recommendations highlighted by the report emphasise the importance of involving the community in a range of projects at the grass-roots level from bush regeneration to survey work.

Not only are community volunteers keen to work on a range of projects but many of them have a store of local knowledge that can be used for local biodiversity conservation.

Page last updated: 27 February 2011