The Port Phillip and Western Port region is at the centre of several bioregions and it contains indigenous vegetation categorised into around 100 ecological vegetation classes.
In the past 200 years, the region has changed and we have experienced significant losses in both the type and quality of vegetation native to this region.
One of the greatest threats to native vegetation, and to the habitats sustained by them, is urban growth. As population grows so does the threat to our natural resources.
Our role in protecting the environment has become paramount. It is particularly important to ensure that natural ecosystems are well represented, maintained in good condition and protected because of their significant social, environmental and economic value.
Less than one third of pre-European vegetation remains in the region as a result of land-use change that includes clearing for urban development, agriculture, extractive industries and infrastructure.
The reduction in large tracts of linked vegetation and a loss of diversity has resulted in the extinction of some species and threats to others. The opportunity exists to manage further development by retaining and benefiting from the vegetation that remains.
Native vegetation exists on land with a variety of ownerships and management regimes, and the level of protection of different classes of vegetation varies markedly. Around 40 per cent of the region’s native vegetation is located in parks or reserves managed for conservation purposes, another 30 per cent is on other publicly owned land and 30 per cent is on private property.
The Port Phillip and Westernport CMA works with both private and public land managers to ensure the protection and restoration of the native vegetation throughout the region. Our work with private individuals, groups and landholders and the role they play is just as important as strategy decisions in conjunction with policy makers.