I guess the flipside of the funding issue is that the DEC apparently
received 109 million over that period (combined state & federal
contributions, p. 9), of which 8.2 million was spent on 'direct threatened
species activities'. It may be worth reading the rest of the report to see
if this is elaborated & where the other funding may have been spent, e.g.
reserve management, biological surveys, fire management etc.
It's also worth reminding those that don't know that under current
legislation the Minister for the Environment can decide to ignore advise
given by the DEC/EPA etc. that a particular project should not go ahead
based on environmental values, and sign it off based on other (e.g. economic
or social) values. Again I need to read the report a little more fully to
see if this is taken into account somewhere.
From: John Leonard
Sent: Thursday, 11 June 2009 5:29 AM
Subject: WA Auditor-General Criticises DEC Conservation
Perhaps the Auditor-General should have criticised the WA government
for not spending enough on conservation. There's not much you cn do
with inadequate resources.
2009/6/10 Carl Clifford <>:
> $8.2 million spent on threatened species! That must be nearly as much as
> spent on politicians in W.A. I suppose most pollies should be regarded as
> potentially threatened species, though in most cases not threatened
> Carl Clifford
> On 10/06/2009, at 8:57 PM, L&L Knight wrote:
> RICH AND RARE: CONSERVATION OF THREATENED SPECIES
> Western Australia (WA) is globally significant for its biodiversity, of
> flora (plants) and fauna (animals). WA has over half of Australia?s
> biodiversity hotspots and the South West is internationally recognised for
> its biodiversity. In 2008 there were 601 species listed as threatened in
> The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) is the primary agency
> responsible for conserving this biodiversity. DEC estimates that in
> it spent $8.2 million directly on threatened species activities, including
> evaluating the conservation status of species, developing and implementing
> recovery plans, monitoring species, and managing data.
> DEC has other areas of activity which influence the conservation of
> threatened species. For example, creating reserves protects threatened
> species? habitat. DEC?s nature conservation programs can also address
> processes that pose risks to threatened species. DEC?s programs to manage
> dieback and salinity are an example of this. These programs are not
> at threatened species directly, but contribute to their conservation.
> We focused on whether DEC is effectively protecting and recovering
> threatened species; whether it has clear strategies, plans, policies and
> procedures in place to support threatened species conservation activities,
> and whether those activities are conducted in line with relevant
> legislation, plans, policies and procedures. We included terrestrial
> threatened species and excluded marine species.
> Examination conclusion?
> In many areas DEC is not effectively protecting and recovering threatened
> species. The number of threatened species is rising and only a few species
> are improving. Recovery action is not happening for most threatened
> The majority of resources and effort are allocated to critically
> species, placing vulnerable and endangered species at risk of further
> DEC has some successful programs to address broad scale threats to
> species, but in other areas that underpin conservation, such as habitat
> protection, DEC is facing significant challenges.
> DEC cannot demonstrate the overall effectiveness of its threatened species
> conservation activities. This limits assurance that it has effective
> management and conservation processes and programs to ensure the
> and recovery of WA?s threatened species.
> Much of DEC?s threatened species activities are not enabled by existing
> legislation and DEC has created policies to cover these gaps. The Wildlife
> Conservation Act 1950 does not provide species with adequate protection.
> What the examination found...
> ? 601 species in WA are listed as threatened with extinction and
> number is increasing. Only a handful of species are improving.
> ? Only one in five threatened fauna and less than half of
> flora have a recovery plan, while full implementation of the plans that
> in place often does not occur. Without a recovery plan, the needs of
> threatened species may not be identified and addressed.
> ? Multi-species approaches to conservation are an effective
> to the growing number of threatened species. DEC has a number of
> multi-species programs.
> ? Creating reserves is a key habitat conservation mechanism, but
> than half the amount of land agreed under the national target has been
> reserved in WA. On average, it takes a decade for acquired land to become
> ? DEC cannot demonstrate the effectiveness of its threatened
> conservation activities for all threatened species.
> ? Since 1987 DEC and its predecessor agencies have sought to
> the 1950 Wildlife Conservation Act with new legislation that would provide
> greater support for conserving biodiversity.
> What the examination recommended...
> DEC should:
> ? consider changing how it prioritises species for conservation
> attention to ensure existing resources are used to maximum long-term
> ? continue to identify and acquire land of conservation value and
> work with other agencies to achieve reservation more quickly
> ? implement an evaluation framework and supporting systems to
> in measuring threatened species conservation effectiveness
> ? continue its efforts to replace the Wildlife Conservation Act
> with a new Biodiversity Conservation Act.
> Click here for the Full Report in Adobe PDF (251kb
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