City of Albany looks into its biodiversity and urban tree strategies, seeks community input

Stuart McGuckinAlbany Advertiser
The City of Albany is developing and reviewing strategies, which aim to bolster local diversity and urban tree coverage.
Camera IconThe City of Albany is developing and reviewing strategies, which aim to bolster local diversity and urban tree coverage. Credit: Laurie Benson

Have your say on plans to bolster Albany’s urban forest and local biodiversity over the coming month.

The City of Albany is seeking input on its plans to develop a new Local Biodiversity Strategy and comprehensively overhaul its existing Urban Tree Strategy.

The LBS will help ensure biodiversity preservation is included in the city’s planning and decision-making processes by assessing the benefits and challenges associated with conservation.

Once developed and implemented, it will consider matters such as legal requirements and habitat distribution as well as establishing criteria for conservation and management areas, and the priorities within them.

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Community and stakeholders will be actively involved in shaping how the LBS will be implemented by way of a community stakeholder group.

A review of the UTS is also taking place and will be expanded to become an Urban Forest Strategy by considering all vegetation within the urban environment, including native and non-native species on both private and public land.

The strategy will aim to improve amenity and air quality while mitigating climate change impacts and promoting public health by expanding urban tree cover.

City engineering and sustainability manager Ruth March said the strategies demonstrated a commitment to “fostering a sustainable and thriving community”.

“Conserving biodiversity and enriching our urban forest not only safeguard our natural heritage but also create a healthier and more liveable environment for present and future generations,” she said.

“Our natural surroundings are integral to the vibrancy, resilience, and liveability of Albany.

“Therefore, protecting our biodiversity and expanding our urban forest are top priorities for the city as we strive to promote and facilitate the sustainable growth of Albany.”

An online survey seeking input from the community on both strategies is open until April 12 at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WW829K6

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