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The legislative challenge of facilitating climate change adaptation for biodiversity


McCormack, PC, The legislative challenge of facilitating climate change adaptation for biodiversity, Australian Law Journal, 92, (7) pp. 546-562. ISSN 0004-9611 (2018) [Refereed Article]

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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 Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:climate change, adaptation, environment, objectives
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Environmental and resources law
Research Field:Environmental law
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the law
Objective Field:Law reform
UTAS Author:McCormack, PC (Ms Phillipa McCormack)
ID Code:129483
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:Law
Deposited On:2018-12-03
Last Modified:2019-01-29

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