Farmers a part of the biosecurity decline solution

WORKING AROUND IT: National Farmers Federation (NFF) president Fiona Simson said there needed o be a balance between economic and environmental requirements, as well as clear recognition that landscapes can provide multiple benefits as one of the solutions to the biodiversity decline. Picture: File

THE National Farmer’s Federation (NFF) has called for further collaboration and investment to reverse declining biodiversity following the State of the Environment Report released last week.

This report showed Australian biodiversity was suffering significant decline and still remains under threat.

NFF president Fiona Simson said farmers were looking for discussion and detail from the Federal Government on “locking up” Australian landscape, which was not the answer to improving biodiversity.

“Farmers are the custodians of 55 per cent of Australian land and not only do farmers want to protect the land, they also want to improve it for generations to come,” Ms Simson said.

“It’s in farmers’ best interests to care for the environment, as productive landscapes rich in biodiversity mean they can grow the food and fibre to feed and clothe Australians and the world.”

The NFF has previously emphasised the relationship between agriculture and the environment must be interconnected and extend to include investment in long-term feral animal and introduced weed suppression.

This also applies to managing landscapes to minimise fuel loads to reduce the risk of catastrophic fire and the commensurate destruction of biodiversity.

Ms Simson said that with a lack of land management, it has the potential to allow feral animals and wild plants to flourish, as well as a heightened risk from fire, floods and droughts.

“Farmers continue to do significant heavy lifting to implement controls on their own land, only to it reinvaded and infested time and again from lack of management on public lands,“ she said.

“Farmers are already leading the field and we are ready to do more to reduce the spread of invasive species as they not only damage the environment, but adversely impacting agriculture.

“There must be a balance between economic and environmental requirements as well as a clear recognition that landscapes can provider multiple benefits.“

The NFF reiterates its call for a commitment to long-term funding for the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions, which provides national collaborative research for a long-term pipeline of innovation to help meet invasive species challenges.