Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

A Corridor to Where?

By Carina Wyborn

Connectivity conservation has been framed as a positive contribution that individuals can make in the face of the dual crisis of biodiversity loss and climate change. What is it and why should we pay attention?

Carina Wyborn is a PhD student working on the social dimensions of connectivity science. She is based at the Australian National University and is associated with the Environmental Decisions Group.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

In a relatively short period of time, “connectivity conservation” initiatives have popped up across the continent and the Federal government has just released a draft National Wildlife Corridor Plan. Connectivity conservation combines a focus on the protection, retention and rehabilitation of natural connections in the landscape with an explicit commitment to social values and collaborative land management. Initiatives that aim to build connectivity challenge existing conservation management in three ways:

• they represent a shift in focus from conserving “sites and species” to one on landscapes and processes;

• they operate on a very large scale – many initiatives cover multiple bioregions and jurisdictions; and

• they are transforming the role of government in conservation. The alliances behind many of our national biolink projects are being driven by non-government organisations, with the government playing an equal or secondary role.

The National Wildlife Corridor Plan is about providing a foundation to support these collaborative, tenure-blind approaches to whole-of-landscape conservation.

Through the catchphrase of “connecting people, connecting landscapes”, ecological connectivity has been reframed into a powerful metaphor inspiring the creation of a range of initiatives seeking to connect vast swathes of the Australian landscape....

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.