Sara's cover image
Sara

Sara GIPTON

Year of Award: 2011 Award State: Victoria Environment > General
Environment > Climate Change
The Lamington National Park Churchill Fellowship to investigate strategies for expanding Australia's native forests in a changing climate - USA, UK, Germany
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Conclusion 

My vision is to create public value by attracting carbon market investment for biodiverse revegetation projects on cleared areas in Australian National Parks. Scientists confirm that much of our native flora and fauna is already vulnerable to extinction. The impacts of climate change intensify this threat and increased rates of extinction are expected. National Parks are a key pillar of Australia’s natural reserve system for they are ‘safe houses’ that conserve, protect and enhance our natural and cultural values and assets. Many of our National Parks are borne of former grazing and cropping properties which were assumed because they contain large amounts of remnant vegetation with high conservation value. However, there are large areas of land which have been cleared and which have not grown back on their own to date. For example, grazing properties were assumed into the Alpine NP for the Snowy Mountain Hydro Electricity Scheme and though this occurred more than 50 years ago, much of the cleared areas have not grown back on their own. Nor do National Park agencies have the resources for revegetation as this function competes with other important park management objectives including fire management, track and facility maintenance, research and community participation. In summary, Australian native vegetation does routinely not grow back on its own nor are there resources available within existing budgets to allow for this to happen at scale.

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