Environmental groups are calling on the government to fund a new fund to combat pollution in Australia’s forests and other vulnerable areas.
Key points:The fund, which would not be affected by any changes to the Climate Change Act, would fund measures that help address the impacts of climate change, including the pollution of natural resources and soilThe fund would also help protect threatened species and habitatsThe Federal Government has promised to provide $1bn in funding to help tackle pollution in its national parks, forests and agricultural land, but environmentalists have raised concerns about the impact on vulnerable species and the environment.
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) says the funding would not affect any changes in the Climate Control Act, which will remain in place until 2020.
But environmental groups have called on the Government to fund the fund to tackle pollution.
“If we’re going to invest $1 billion to support climate change mitigation, we should also fund mitigation measures that are already in place in the Australian public realm,” Australian Conservation Foundation’s David D’Ambrosio said.
“These include the mitigation of forest degradation, the control of soil pollution and the management of pollution.”
The fund will be used to support measures such as increasing the capacity of the EPA to respond to pollution, improving monitoring and assessment, improving the capacity to respond and respond faster to incidents and addressing potential threats to natural resources, according to the EPA.
The fund is likely to be used on a quarterly basis to address specific pollutants, with some of the funding earmarked for a year to a year-long phase-in.
The funds will be split between a number of different sectors, including forest conservation, natural resource protection, pollution management and the Australian Defence Force.
The EPA says the fund is designed to support the agency’s ability to effectively respond to environmental problems and to ensure a level playing field for all stakeholders.
“The EPA is a member of the Global Forest Foundation and is committed to supporting the work of the Foundation, and is a global leader in forest conservation,” EPA spokeswoman Lauren McGovern said.
The funding will be funded through the National Environment Protection Fund, which is set up under the Climate Action Plan, which aims to increase Australia’s mitigation and mitigation capabilities.
Under the Climate Act, funding will only be used for activities that help reduce pollution in the environment, including those related to forest degradation and soil pollution.
The Climate Action plan, published in 2016, called for more funding for the EPA, but environmental groups argue it is not enough.
“It’s very disappointing to see this funding not going to protect the environment but to fund projects that directly target the pollution problem in our national parks,” EPA regional director James Smith said.