United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Australia

Australian Mission to the United Nations E-mail australia@un.int
150 East 42nd Street, New York NY 10017-5612 Ph 212 - 351 6600 Fax 212 - 351 6610 www.AustraliaUN.org
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Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting for the 17th Session of
the Commission on Sustainable Development
24 February 2009
Land Session
Australian Delegation
Madam Chair
I will keep my remarks concise.
Firstly, Australia is pleased to see the importance of a holistic and integrated
approach to land resources planning and management with the aim of reducing land
degradation is promoted in the Secretary-General?s report.
Australia considers that good governance, based on sound institutional, legal and
policy frameworks, is fundamental to successful land resource management. These
measures and approaches include:
o the development of planning and management frameworks;
o equitable and workable tenure systems (including, as was discussed by the
panel, systems that do not necessarily require individual titles or land
ownership);
o the on-farm adoption of land management practices that maintain and
improve production and deliver ecosystem services to the whole community;
o the adoption of risk or evidence-based land protection policies (both
regulatory and non-regulatory) to allow productive land-use while maintaining
their sustainability and ecological and social values; and
o a transparent participatory approach that engages stakeholders and provides
community support and involvement.
The Conservation Agriculture Alliance of Australia and New Zealand (CAAANZ), for
example, provides farmers with a single voice on key soil conservation issues
ranging from research to carbon sequestration, and to improve the flow of technical
information across state and national boundaries. More than 4000 conservation and
no-till farmers across Australia and New Zealand belong to the groups that form this
alliance.
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Australia?s Natural Resource Management (NRM) initiative, Caring for our Country,
aims to have an environment that is healthy, better protected, well-managed,
resilient, and that provides essential ecosystem services in a changing climate.
Priority areas relating to land management within this initiative include:
o a national reserve system ? helping to conserve Australia?s distinctive
landscapes, plants and animals by creating a comprehensive, adequate and
representative system of reserves;
o biodiversity and natural icons ? protecting World Heritage Areas, tackling weeds
and pest animals that threaten biodiversity, and better protecting nationally
threatened animal and plant species and communities;
o sustainable farm practices ? building on landcare successes to encourage the
adoption of farming practices that continue to maintain and improve production
and deliver ecosystem services for the whole community;
o NRM in remote and northern Australia ? securing better environmental and
natural resource outcomes in remote and northern Australia, including engaging
Indigenous groups by increasing Indigenous Protected Areas and employment of
additional Indigenous rangers; and
o community skills, knowledge and engagement ? investing in the skills and
knowledge of Indigenous people, volunteers and communities as a whole to
enable them to form more effective partnerships with regional and other
organisations to undertake landscape-scale change.
Excessively degraded land can have negative effects on agricultural productivity,
rural development, biodiversity and ecosystem services. In Australia?s view,
preventing land degradation is usually more effective and cost efficient than
rehabilitating degraded lands.
Australian policy and industry expertise in these areas is significant. I would like to
refer delegates to our fact sheets that we have made available today and our case
studies available on the CSD website.
Thank you
Stakeholders