The paper includes five principles which aim to achieve the following outcomes in the built environment.
• Increase the amount of urban green spaces in cities.
Biodiverse urban green spaces provide for a community and nature connection and provide both environmental and human health benefits.
• Increase biodiversity to ensure the healthy functioning of ecosystems.
Biodiversity enables ecosystems to continue to contribute to energy efficient, sustainable, liveable and resilient cities.
• Connect landscapes and habitat to support biodiversity. Landscape is largely influenced by habitat mosaics that support biodiversity.
Connectivity coupled with measures to improve habitat quantity and quality, maximises ecosystem function and health and influences the provision of ecosystem services.
• Create links between natural and human-made landscapes to support biodiversity and ecological function.
Urban ecological function needs to be augmented by enhancing and connecting the mosaic of spaces and structures across the natural and human-made landscape.
• Promote responsible restoration of the environment not just locally, but for the surrounding landscape, to assist in restoring landscape degradation in Australia and overseas, from the use of materials and resources to develop and operate the environmental asset over time.
Over time, it is envisaged that long-term biodiversity planning will result in an increase of biodiversity and improve future decision making on ecological values for the local and regional area.
Jorge Chapa is Head of Market Transformation at GBCA
The Green Building Council of Australia is the nation’s authority on sustainable buildings, communities and cities. Its vision is to create healthy, resilient and positive places for people and the natural environment. Its purpose is to lead the sustainable transformation of Australia’s built environment.
This is a piece of an edited version of a speech at Green Building Day, an annual series of conferences hosted across the country for the Australian building industry.