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4602.0.00.002 - Community Engagement with Nature Conservation, Australia , 2011-12 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/03/2013  First Issue
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Participation in nature conservation

The Australian community plays an important role in protecting, maintaining and restoring Australia's natural environment. Activities that contribute to the environment's ability to adapt, survive and recover from changes and disturbances can occur at various scales, from backyards to landscapes, and across various timeframes, from weeks to years (Biodiversity Strategy 2010).

In 2011-12, an estimated 8.1 million Australian adults (47%) had participated in nature conservation activities at home or on the farm in the last 12 months. Forty-three percent had planted or cared for Australian native trees or plants, and almost one in five (19%) had cared for Australian native wildlife. People living outside capital cities were more likely to have undertaken these activities than those living in capital cities (54% and 43% respectively) (Table 5 and Graph 3).

Graph Image for Graph 3 - Type of nature conservation activities at home or on the farm

Footnote(s): All persons aged 18 years and over

Source(s): Community Engagement with Nature Conservation, Australia



People aged 45-74 years were more likely than other age groups to have planted or cared for Australian native trees or plants, or cared for Australian native wildlife at home or on the farm in the last 12 months (57%), while people aged 18-24 years were least likely to have engaged in these activities (26%) (Table 1 and Graph 4). People in the highest personal income quintile (54%) were more likely to have undertaken these activities than all other personal income quintiles (Table 1).

Graph Image for Graph 4 - Participated in nature conservation activity at home or on the farm

Footnote(s): All persons aged 18 years and over

Source(s): Community Engagement with Nature Conservation, Australia



Of those people who had participated in nature conservation activities at home or on the farm, the most common reasons for planting or caring for Australian native trees or plants, or caring for Australian native wildlife, were 'non-environmental' reasons relating to making the garden more attractive and tidy (69%) and enjoyment (68%). For a large proportion of Australian adults, nature conservation (44%), support for local environment (40%), saving water (35%) and helping animals (28%) were other reasons for participating in these activities (Table 6 and Graph 5).

Graph Image for Graph 5 - Reasons for participation in nature conservation at home or on the farm

Footnote(s): Persons who have participated in nature conservation activities at home or on the farm

Source(s): Community Engagement with Nature Conservation, Australia



There are other ways Australians as individuals can contribute to nature conservation, including participating in paid or voluntary work outside the home. In 2011-12, around one million Australian adults (6%) had participated in paid or voluntary work to conserve nature in the last 12 months. More than twice as many had participated in voluntary work to conserve nature than those who had participated in paid work to conserve nature (750,000 compared with 360,000 respectively) (Tables 1 and 7).

Nearly half a million Australian adults (484,000) had participated in voluntary work to conserve nature for a nature conservation organisation. Of those people, 78% had cared for land or bush (Table 8).


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