The Armidale Declaration

Agreed to by the approximately 120 delegates attending the final plenary session at:

Restore, Regenerate, Revegetate

A Conference about Restoring Ecological Processes, Ecosystems and Landscapes in a Changing World

The delegates at the Restore, Regenerate, Revegetate Conference held in Armidale, New South Wales, from 5–9 February 2017, shared an impressive body of practical and scientific knowledge of how we are restoring Australia’s natural heritage and environmental capital across the continent. However, the conference also highlighted several key points that must be addressed if we are to truly meet the challenges and opportunities of land repair.

  • We acknowledge the success of the last 30 years of land restoration and rehabilitation, but decry the continuing decline in the extent and condition of Australia’s native terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and the impact that this will have on the health, prosperity, wellbeing and cultural legacy of future Australians.
  • We celebrate the significant contributions of many communities across Australia to repair their local environments. However, we have only just begun to address the vast challenge that confronts us. We have developed the skills, knowledge and passion to meet this challenge, but lack the market drivers to achieve the scale of response required.
  • We urge support for Indigenous groups so they can continue to work on country to manage our natural resources through the application of cultural science.
  • We recommend ensuring that the principle of ‘net gain in biodiversity’ underpins all environmental regulation.
  • We recommend the development of a stable investment process that is decoupled from politics, has bipartisan support, retains and enhances social capital, and is independently administered, to support the actions and research required to reverse the ongoing decline in Australia’s natural terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
  • We recommend the establishment of a federal land and water agency as the premier research and development organisation for natural resource management in Australia, in accord with the 2010 recommendations of the Productivity Commission.
  • We recommend the support and continued development of stable, long-term government institutions for natural resource management, and the facilitation of strong partnerships between government, community and industry.
  • Finally, we recommend commonwealth, state and local governments define and mandate the use of native flora as an essential component in landscaping works associated with publically funded road, rail and other infrastructure programs.

 

END

9 February 2017

 

Contact: Professor Nick C. H. Reid

BSc(Hons) PhD

Ecosystem Management

School of Environmental and Rural Science

University of New England

Armidale NSW 2351 Australia

Phone  +61 2 6773 2072, Facsimile +61 2 6773 2769

Mobile  +61 428 711 360, Email  nrei3@une.edu.au