Over 60% of Australian land is in private hands and yet only 2% is permanently protected.

This statistic was presented as a challenge to be solved at the 2023 Australian Land Conservation Alliance conference in Canberra, with Wilderlands CEO and Co-founder Ash Knop and Lead Ecologist Deanna Marshall amongst the hundreds of leaders in attendance.

The conference brought together government, private landowners, businesses, and other environmental thought-leaders to discuss the necessary steps to protect Australian biodiversity, exploring potential solutions with biodiversity credits amongst the hot topics of the day.

In 2022, Australia joined over 190 countries who’ve committed to protect 30% of nature by 2030 which will require over 40 billion square metres added to the conservation estate.

The role of private land and providing an incentive for landholders is a key part of this puzzle and is a reason the government is exploring a nature repair market to provide a way for businesses to take action and recognise their role in contributing to the damage to habitat.

This recognition is part of a range of global initiatives putting pressure on private investment and creating ways for businesses to start assessing their impact on nature and taking action accordingly.

KPMG’s Global Lead of Natural Capital and Biodiversity Carolin Leeshaa spoke passionately about the critical need for all players to play their part stating that the economy is a subsidiary of nature, and there is no economy without it.

Leesha explained that the role of global framework’s such as the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TFND) were critical to assisting businesses assess their impact and begin their path to being nature positive. 

“Firstly understanding and measuring their dependencies on nature. Secondly to aid in the transition to transparency, and finally to help businesses appropriately transform their operations to create a more sustainable business and future for all”.

Carolin Leeshaa

Amongst other topics of discussion were the need to include Indigenous-led projects amongst nature markets and how the burgeoning Biodiversity Credit sector would create measurements and standards that would ensure integrity remains at the core of these conservation projects.

As the conference concluded, the message was clear: the time for collective action and transformative change in protecting Australia’s biodiversity is now, and it requires the concerted effort of all sectors – business, government, and private landowners – to make a lasting impact.

Wilderlands Ecologist and Lead Ecologist Deanna Marshall carrying out Quadrant monitoring at our Alleena project in NSW

Wilderlands offer a viable way for private land to be protected in a way that benefits landowners, businesses, and most importantly threatened species.

Wilderlands have developed one of the world’s first voluntary biodiversity credits and launched a platform to make it easy for anyone to start protecting nature today.

The Biological Diversity Unit (BDU) represents a 1sqm plot of permanently-protected and actively managed land in high ecological value projects across Australia.

Each unit is geotagged to enable supporters to track their impact through their personal profile, receive regular reports from expert ecologists on the ground and watch as nature flourishes thanks to their support.

Since launching in August 2022, we’ve protected nearly 100,000 square metres of vulnerable Australian habitat thanks to the generosity of our supporters.