Biodiversity a Govt priority
A new long-term strategy for protecting the rich biodiversity of the Pilbara region has been announced by the State Government.
The Pilbara Conservation Strategy is intended to set out a large-scale prioritised approach to environmental management in a “bioregion” which includes the local government area of Karratha and parts of Ashburton, Port Hedland, East Pilbara and Meekatharra.
Among its priorities are restoring ecosystems in the central Hamersley Range, including Karijini National Park, the recovery of the Fortescue Marsh wetlands, and introducing programs for prescribed burning and weed and feral animal management.
It follows a similar strategy for the Kimberley which has been rolled out over the past five years.
Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the strategy would provide an organised and region-wide approach to managing serious environmental threats.
“Following the success of the Government's $103.6 million Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy, we are extending this proven landscape-scale method of managing key threats such as fire, feral animals and weeds to the Pilbara,” he said.
“The Pilbara strategy aims to deliver improved conservation outcomes and enhance the region’s high biodiversity.”
The strategy will also pool environmental offsets paid by major Pilbara resource and infrastructure projects into a fund for further conservation projects.
Mr Jacob said he expected the plan would promote collaboration between varied Pilbara conservation stakeholders including Government, industry, traditional owners, nongovernment organisations, research institutions, and pastoralists.
The Pilbara is one of only 15 biodiversity hotspots in Australia.
The Fortescue River at sunset.