2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity and Lismore City Council says there are several ways you can do more to protect the region’s biodiversity.
Below, Council’s Environmental Strategies co-ordinator Nick Stephens outlines Top 10 Hints for getting involved in improving biodiversity in your neck of the woods.
1. Develop an understanding of what biodiversity is – the term describes the variety of all life and natural processes on Earth. Many of the products we take for granted (water, soil, food) depend on a diversity of species on the land, in the water and underground. Biodiversity is closely linked to levels of native vegetation, which provide habitat for native fauna. Visit www.countdown2010.net/biodiversity.
2. Adopt the slogan ‘Think Global – Act Local’. You can take action in your own backyard, lifestyle and community to improve the health of the entire planet. Lead by example!
3. Understand biodiversity in your backyard – what grows in your backyard, big or small, can have a significant impact on local biodiversity. Learn about local weeds and replace them with non-invasive native plants, which support native animals.
4. Visit our local natural parks and reserves and appreciate the plants and animals that grow in them. Areas close to Lismore City include Rotary Park, Wilsons Nature Reserve and Tucki Tucki Creek Recreation Park in Goonellabah. Further afield there are lots of National Parks and State Forests.
5. Plant more native trees – many of the plants nurseries sell are not native and can become weeds. Changes in retail practices will only happen when buyers demand local native species over others.
6. Learn more about Council’s plan to consult the community about introducing an Environmental Levy and take part in the consultation process.
7. As a grazier learn more about the advantages of managing biodiversity in your soils and on your farm. A third of the region is used for grazing and can make a tremendous contribution to biodiversity. Check out the latest publication Developing best practice biodiversity management for Northern Rivers graziers at www.northern.cma.
8. Reduce chemicals (household, garden, agricultural). We are increasingly aware of the negative impacts of chemicals on both human health and biodiversity. Investigate healthy alternatives.
9. Consider borrowing (or building) an Indian myna or cane toad trap from Council – these pests are a serious threat to our local biodiversity.
10. Live life more simply – all the products we consume are likely to have some negative impact on biodiversity through their production, use or disposal.