Australia's natural environment provides a range of ecosystem services such as those essential for the maintenance of soil fertility, clean water and air. These services help protect Australia's natural resources and manage our biodiversity. The natural environment also provides enjoyment and recreational opportunities, as well as a cultural identity for the Australian community.
The protection and conservation of Australia's natural environment is the responsibility of land managers, industry and government at all levels, as well as individuals and the community.
In 2011-12, a Community Engagement with Nature Conservation survey was undertaken across Australia with the aim of measuring Australians' engagement with the natural environment and participation in nature conservation activities. This survey will provide baseline data for measuring community awareness of the need for biodiversity conservation, associated behavioural change and engagement in biodiversity conservation, as outlined in Action A21 of Australia's Biodiversity Conservation Strategy 2010 - 2030.
The survey aims to provide information about a variety of activities associated with environmental engagement, including both direct and indirect activities. Direct activities include:
- bushcare/landcare activities
- planting native plants in own garden
- wildlife rehabilitation
- education/community engagement
- visiting National Parks, bushwalking.
Indirect activities include:
- donating money to support the environment
- advocacy for the environment
- considering the negative effects on the environment when shopping.
In addition to information about these activities, socio-demographic information was collected, and is presented in the accompanying tables and key findings.