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22 May 2023

International Day of Biological Diversity: see how Deakin is preserving our environment

Monday 22 May was the 2023 International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB). The IDB was initiated by the United Nations to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues.

The theme for 2023, From Agreement to Action: Build Back Biodiversity, recognises the historic outcome of the UN’s 2022 Biodiversity Conference (COP15) which saw the adoption of a new set of international goals for biodiversity called the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). A total of 188 governments agreed to the GBF and committed to address the ongoing loss of terrestrial and marine biodiversity.

We must all take responsibility for biodiversity

While biological diversity is a global asset of tremendous value to future generations, the number of species is being significantly reduced through impacts from climate change, invasive species, deforestation, over-exploitation of natural resources, pollution and urbanisation.

Addressing an issue as big and as urgent as biodiversity loss requires change across all areas of society. Universities have a significant role to play in preserving biodiversity through education, research and by providing living laboratories for species conservation, climate adaption and biodiversity restoration.

What Deakin is doing to preserve biodiversity

Enabling a sustainable world is one of the five Impact Themes in Deakin 2030 – Ideas to Impact, and the University has a number of dedicated actions and initiatives to Build Back Biodiversity.

Our Nature Positive Pledge

Nature Positive Universities Deakin is a founding member of the Nature Positive Universities Alliance, an initiative between the United Nations Environment Programme and the University of Oxford, that encourages members to work together to promote nature on their campuses, in their supply chains and within their cities and communities.

In December 2022, Deakin made a Nature Positive Pledge committing to:

Deakin’s Biodiversity Strategy for our campus environments

The Deakin University Biodiversity Strategy sets the vision and objectives required to protect, enhance and restore the unique flora and fauna values across the 450 hectares of our four campuses. The strategy was developed around three goals:

In response to one of the high-priority actions in the strategy, the recently developed Focal Species Action Plan sets out goals for establishing habitat for vulnerable and endangered species such as the Swift Parrot, Yarra Pygmy Perch and Growling Grass Frog.

We’re helping to protect Gardiner’s Creek at Burwood Campus

Deakin is also a formal partner of the Gardiners Creek (KooyongKoot) Regional Collaboration which focuses on protecting and improving the cultural, amenity and environmental value of the Gardiners Creek catchment for the benefit of the community and the environment.

Gardiners Creek (KooyongKoot) abuts the north-west corner of the Burwood Campus and provides various resources for local fauna. The vulnerable Grey-headed Flying Fox has been recorded and the creek also contains potential habitat for the endangered Swift Parrot.

Our Climate Ready Campus vision for Waurn Ponds Campus

Climate Ready Campus brandingBiodiversity is also a key pillar of the Climate Ready Campus vision for Waurn Ponds. Using an integrated systems approach to sustainability, biodiversity is being enhanced through:

Here’s simple ways you can help protect our environment

As we collectively move forward with a renewed sense of hope, we cannot afford to lose sight of the need for positive action at all levels. Here are four ideas about things you can do to make an impact

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