Wednesday, 7 February 2007
World Wetlands Day
That the Senate:
- notes 2 February 2007 was World Wetlands Day;
- understands that this date marks the anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) in Ramsar, Iran on 2 February 1971;
- notes, with concern, that the Australia state of the environment 2006 report found that as many as 231 nationally important wetlands are under pressure across Australia, and that of our 64 Ramsar wetlands, 22 have changed in ecological character or have the potential to change;
- notes that a recent report by the Inland Rivers Network on wetlands in crisis found that ‘changes in river flows have resulted in the loss of 90% of floodplain wetlands in the Murray-Darling Basin’;
- recognises that the ongoing degradation of wetlands, particularly those listed as Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance, is a cause of national concern;
- expresses concern that the continuing drought and the longer term impacts of climate change could cause further degradation of wetlands; and
- calls on the Government to prioritise returning water flows to the degraded wetlands of the Murray-Darling system.
Question agreed to.