Australia is a country gifted with outstanding landscapes, unique and productive ecosystems, and thousands of species that occur nowhere else on earth. These places, plants, animals and systems are a core part of what it means to be Australian, they define us, and we all have a role to play in securing the future of our environment.

There are many parts of Australia that have become degraded and this has severe consequences for our quality of life and the natural values of this country. The Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia and its partners have taken a bold step to help ensure these areas, from urban bushland to the outback, can be restored using sound stewardship and the best possible science. The Society has produced the world's first set of standards for restoration practice: National Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration in Australia.

Australian Government initiatives, such as the Green Army, 20 Million Trees and the National Landcare Programme, ensure we are working better with, and investing in, natural resource management groups, industry, farmers and local communities to support the protection, conservation and rehabilitation of Australia's natural environment. Australia's Threatened Species Strategy also sets out the Government's commitment to reduce threats to our plants and animals, create and enhance safe havens and new habitat, improve the quality of existing habitat and improve recovery practices including through the use of national recovery plans and conservation advices. The Standards are a blueprint to ensure communities across Australia succeed in delivering sound environmental benefits.

The Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia and its partners are to be commended for delivering this world first initiative that offers a way to change the face of ecological restoration in a positive and enduring way for all Australians. Supporting the recovery of our landscape requires a coordinated team approach and these Standards allow all Australians to contribute to rebuilding our wonderful natural heritage. This land is ours to protect and we all have a role to play.

The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Minister for the Environment
Government of Australia


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