A robust system of environmental management is vital to Australia’s future. A critical part of this system is laws that enable the preservation, management and restoration of our common heritage. Whilst there is a limit to what laws alone can achieve, they are crucial for ensuring Australia sustains a healthy, resilient and productive environment.
Australia faces unprecedented environmental challenges. Australia’s key environmental indicators continue to decline. Some of the persistent problems include a decline in biodiversity, degradation of productive rural land, intensification of development along coastlines and in sprawling cities, and the emerging impacts of climate change. These problems are in addition to the past damage that needs to be repaired.
Given the need to address systematically, effectively and creatively Australia’s ecological challenges, it is time to consider the need for more effective environmental laws. In developing proposals for a new generation of Australian environmental laws, APEEL aims to ensure that law is a vehicle to maximise the goal of a healthy and resilient environment that benefits everyone.
APEEL has developed a blueprint for the next generation of Australian environmental laws with the aim of ensuring a healthy, functioning and resilient environment for generations to come. APEEL’s proposals are for environmental laws that are as transparent, efficient, effective and participatory as possible. A series of technical discussion papers focus on the following themes:
1. The foundations for environmental law
2. Environmental governance
3. Terrestrial natural resources management
4. Marine and coastal issues
5. Climate law
6. Energy regulation
7. The private sector, business law and environmental performance
8. Democracy and the environment