The first half of the video is the seminar, followed by quesitons.

The problem of conserving Australia’s biodiversity was identified over 100 years ago and articulated strongly in the 1960’s. By 1970 the Australian Academy of Science was lending its name to promoting strategies for addressing the issue. Since then there has been significant progress in creating multiple institutional responses which has been accompanied by a lamentable decline in biodiversity.

Since the 1980’s the level of in investment in the problem has increased and the involvement of the Australian Government has grown through patchy legislation and investments (such Section 96 grants which started in the 1970’s and new initiative such as NHT (1999) and Caring for our Country (2008)). Commonwealth legislation was, and remains, constitutionally limited in scope. Existing legislation was consolidated by the EPBC Act (1999) to give effect to the Biodiversity Convention and consolidate already “discovered” Commonwealth powers. Yet over this entire period there has been no effective investment in mechanisms to measure if the institutional, legislative and expenditure changes are having an impact. This seminar will briefly discuss this issue, propose how progress could be made and provide time for an open dialogue based on my experience.

Since 1970 Bob has worked as an academic in the field of conservation initially in wildlife management and then in 1978 establishing Australia’s first formal training for National Parks and Wildlife Rangers. Bob has held many appointments that give him a basis for his insights into the subject of this seminar, including: Chair of the Australian State of Environment 2006 Committee and the Australian Threatened Species Scientific Committee.

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