To assist in the protection of Western Australia's internationally significant flora and fauna Environmental Protection Authority EPA Chairman, Bernard Bowen, today released EPA Position Statement Number Three, Terrestrial Biological Surveys as an Element of Biodiversity Protection.Release Date:
8 April 2002Details:
To assist in the protection of Western Australia's internationally significant flora and fauna Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) Chairman, Bernard Bowen, today released EPA Position Statement Number Three, Terrestrial Biological Surveys as an Element of Biodiversity Protection.
Biological Diversity is the variety of life forms, the different plants, animals and micro-organisms, the genes they contain and the ecosystems they form. Biological diversity, referred to as Biodiversity, is usually considered at three levels: genetic diversity, species diversity and ecosystem diversity.
Mr Bowen said that terrestrial biological surveys were an essential component of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for many proposals considered by the EPA.
"The EPA is concerned that, at times, insufficient attention is given to the importance and detail of terrestrial biological surveys," Mr Bowen said.
"This may mean that the information supplied is inadequate to allow the EPA to undertake a comprehensive assessment, resulting in potential delays in the progress of an assessment while additional or appropriate information is collected.
"The Position Statement seeks to promote and encourage all proponents and their consultants to focus their attention on the significance of biodiversity and the need to develop and implement best practice in terrestrial biological surveys.
"It also provides greater certainty for proponents in the EIA process by defining the principles the EPA will use when assessing proposals which may impact on biodiversity values."
The EPA intends to provide guidance on the general requirements for terrestrial biological surveys through a series of Guidance Statements, the first of which is expected to be Preliminary Guidance Statement No. 51: Terrestrial Flora and Vegetation Surveys and Analysis.
These particular Guidance Statements are intended to provide an easy-to-use decision-making guide to the level of terrestrial biological survey required.
Mr Bowen also said that it was important to upgrade the State's biological databases to improve decision-making capacity and reduce costs for EIA.
"The EPA intends to encourage the coordinated development of a state-wide database for EIA-related biological surveys in consultation with environmental practitioners and Western Australian natural resource management agencies and authorities," he said.
The Position Statement also contains a summary of key Acts, Agreements and Legislation related to the protection of biodiversity. Status: