The National Reserve System is Australia’s network of protected areas, comprising Commonwealth, state and territory parks and reserves and Indigenous and private protected areas. It conserves examples of Australia’s natural landscapes and native plants and animals that are under pressure from future land-use and climate change.
Australia has obligations under the International Convention on Biological Diversity including to meet Aichi Target 11, which requires that at least 17 per cent of terrestrial land be conserved through an ecologically representative and well connected system of protected areas by 2020.
Over 17 per cent of Australia’s landmass is now included in the National Reserve System (NRS); however, this does not mean that the NRS fully protects the complete range of biodiversity, ecosystems and their environments.
This project examined how well the NRS represents the full range of ‘ecological environments’ in Australia, both now and under future climate change scenarios.
This project concluded in June 2016.
The results provide an indication of how well positioned the reserve system is to protect Australia’s biodiversity from future threats and may inform future conservation efforts, such as identifying and mapping ecological environments that are poorly represented in the National Reserve System.