Plan to pre­serve wet­lands

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - FRONT PAGE - David Charlesworth

THE Peel-Har­vey Catch­ment Coun­cil an­nounced a new ac­tion plan last week to man­age the Peel-Yal­go­rup Wet­lands Sys­tem which stretches from Man­durah down through the shires of Har­vey and Wa­roona.

WA Sci­ence Am­bas­sador Pro­fes­sor Lyn Bea­z­ley an­nounced the ac­tion plan in Man­durah on Wed­nes­day.

The plan in­volves bring­ing com­mu­nity stake­hold­ers into the man­age­ment of the wet­lands, in­clud­ing com­mu­ni­ties, groups, busi­ness, lo­cal gov­ern­ments and the State Gov­ern­ment.

The wet­lands sys­tem cov­ers 26,530ha through Har­vey, Mur­ray, Wa­roona, Man­durah and the in­ner Peel Re­gion and is one of 36 wet­lands in Aus­tralia deemed to have in­ter­na­tional im­por­tance.

Catch­ment coun­cil chair­man Andy Gul­liver said the plan en­cour­aged gov­ern­ment, com­mu­nity and in­dus­try to be­come more in­volved and make bet­ter de­ci­sions about the care and man­age­ment of the wet­lands sys­tem.

“It’s an un­for­tu­nate les­son of his­tory that we of­ten don’t re­alise what we’ve got un­til it’s gone,” he said.

“The Wet­lands and Peo­ple Plan will in­form the com­mu­nity about the true value of our wet­lands and en­able peo­ple to make in­formed choices.”

Mr Gul­liver said the plan was the first Ram­sar Con­ven­tion CEPA Pro­gram, which stood for com­mu­ni­ca­tion, ed­u­ca­tion, par­tic­i­pa­tion and aware­ness, in Aus­tralia to be site spe­cific.

“It has taken many years of per­sis­tent ef­fort and com­mit­ment,” he said.

“The launch of the plan is a wa­ter­shed mo­ment for our com­mu­nity. Over time it will change the way we think about and value our nat­u­ral as­sets.”

Mr Gul­liver said the wet­lands were un­der threat from de­clin­ing wa­ter qual­ity, poorly man­aged recre­ation and the loss of sur­round­ing na­tive veg­e­ta­tion and wet­lands.

“The wet­lands are sur­rounded by large res­i­den­tial, com­mer­cial and ru­ral ar­eas, with sig­nif­i­cant ad­di­tional ur­ban and in­dus­trial devel­op­ment pro­posed for the com­ing decades,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.