The power of plants and natural ecosystems to deliver benefits
How is the initiative shaped by scientific evidence of the potential for plants and natural ecosystems to deliver benefits?
A green city full of pride, opportunity and culture’. This vision will drive positive environmental outcomes through the Corporate Plan 2021–2026.
Council recognises the importance of balancing growth and our natural environment while meeting the challenges of a changing climate.
To achieve our vision of being a green city, we must recognise the importance of balancing growth and our natural environment while meeting the challenges of a changing climate.
Achieving this can be achieved through our Living Green for Biodiversity suite of policies, strategies, plans and actual real-world actions. These provide the framework with a range of innovative, flexible, outcome focused policies and plans to deliver on our vision. Council has strategies and plans in place to protect, manage, and enhance the natural environment which respond to local needs and builds climate change resilience.
LCC took the step to include bold environmental and climate change in our Corporate Plan including:
- Manage, maintain, and improve the ecological health and activation of our rivers and waterways.
- Enhance our urban forest, wildlife corridor network and environmentally significant bushland areas.
- Ensure Council’s planning scheme protects and enhances wildlife corridors and core habitat across the city.
- Expand community incentive and education programs to encourage environmental stewardship, participation and awareness.
- Support the community to become more sustainable and conserve and restore private land.
- A commitment to achieve carbon neutrality/net zero by the end of 2022.
- Continue to implement sustainability initiatives including increased use of renewable energy, energy efficient technology and carbon reduction projects
How has the city exploited the potential of plants and associated ecosystems to deliver more than one benefit?
To monitor and measure these outcomes an innovative scientific based model was developed that recognises the potential for plants and natural ecosystems to deliver multiple benefits.
To recognise this, part of the framework included the development of a city wide Ecological Significance map using multiple values, methodologies and ecological inputs including:
- Biodiversity Assessment and Mapping Methodology
- Common Nature Conservation Classification System (CNCCS) and Expert Panel
- Tract size of ecological significant areas and corridors Relative Ecosystem Size
- Ecosystem Diversity;
- Context and connection;
- Special Biodiversity Areas;
- Corridor Links, Context and Connection;
- Urban and Rural land;
- Land bordering Environmental Parks;
- Waterway and Wetland buffers.
By using a range of inputs, it allows us to exploit the potential of plants and associated ecosystems to deliver more than one benefit.
This sets out the following natural environment and climate change strategic outcomes:
- No net loss of biodiversity and ecological values is achieved by protecting and enhancing flora and fauna species.
- Ecosystems of waterway corridors, wetlands and their riparian areas are protected and enhanced.
- Vegetated areas and waterways are protected and enhanced to function as ecological links and corridors.
- Greenhouse gas emission and the community’s reliance on greenhouse gas emitting energy sources, are reduced.
To achieve these fresh and ambitious outcomes, the following has been implemented by LCC.
- 84.1% of the city has all native trees and wildlife habitat protected.
- 28,277 ha of environmental and wildlife corridors mapped and protected
- Protection of:
- 2,633 hectares of wetlands
- 2,177 kilometres of waterways