The Greens encourage local communities to apply for funds to replant and restore bushland, restore native habitats including wetlands and to reduce the impacts of weeds and feral animals under the Commonwealth $946 million Biodiversity Fund grants program they negotiated as part of the Clean Energy Future Package.
"Enhancing and restoring carbon in the landscape and creating jobs in rural Australia is a win‐win for the climate and the community," Acting Greens Leader, Christine Milne said.
"To stop global warming worsening we need to stop carbon dioxide emissions from the stacks and at the same time we need to prevent the release of carbon already stored in the landscape and add to that store with restoration of degraded forests and wetlands."
"The money we get from taxing the big polluters can go directly back to the local community, as a permanent legacy of restored bushland."
"Tasmanian NRM groups and community groups working to restore coastal vegetation, remove weeds and convert cleared plantation land back to native vegetation, not to mention restoration of degraded forests on private land, are all strapped for cash. This is a great opportunity for us all to benefit from the carbon price."
Applications close on January 31st 2012 for the first round.
"Whilst the timing is less than desirable, I urge all communities and organisations who take an active interest in the health of our environment to submit an application."
The Biodiversity Fund will support projects that, for example:
• establish new bio‐diverse plantings of mixed species that establish and re‐connect well functioning
• revegetate the landscape to improve connections between remnant native vegetation across public
and private lands, particularly in the fragmented rural, coast and peri‐urban landscapes of south
eastern and south western Australia and Tasmania
• restore native habitats in largely intact landscapes in northern Australia and/or on the rangelands, as
well as those in peri‐urban and coastal catchments in any part of Australia
• enhance the condition of native vegetation adjacent to existing key assets such as World Heritage
Areas, RAMSAR sites or protected areas in the National Reserve System
• establish and restore native wetland and waterway habitats, particularly on already cleared lands or
lands predominately occupied by non‐native vegetation
• reduce the impacts of invasive species across connected landscapes