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The legislative challenge of facilitating climate change adaptation for biodiversity

McCormack, PC ORCID: 0000-0001-6751-8291 2018 , 'The legislative challenge of facilitating climate change adaptation for biodiversity' , Australian Law Journal, vol. 92, no. 7 , pp. 546-562 .

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Australia has an unenviable record of species extinctions, ecological fragmentation and biodiversity decline. Against that backdrop, anthropogenic climate change is emerging as a significant new threat to Australia's biodiversity. This article argues that the explicit and implicit purposes of conservation laws are to preserve the status quo. These laws typically reflect a false presumption that nature is "stationary", and that biodiversity can be preserved indefinitely within historical, "native" distributions and species compositions. This presumption is demonstrably false and, without legislative reform, conservation laws based on static purposes will continue to be ill-equipped to facilitate adaptation-oriented approaches to conservation. Commonwealth and state and territory legislatures must ensure that legal frameworks for conservation provide Australia's rich biodiversity with the best possible opportunities to adapt and persist in a rapidly changing world.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:McCormack, PC
Keywords: climate change, adaptation, environment, objectives
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Law Journal
Publisher: Lawbook Co.
ISSN: 0004-9611
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 Thomson Reuters (Professional) Australia Limited

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