On Thursday in Canberra she hosted a meeting of scientists, the conservation movement, bureaucrats, investors and philanthropists to discuss how they could co-invest in bushfire recovery and long term environmental projects.
“It may well be the first time the environment portfolio has brought these groups together. It’s a big agenda, and this is the first discussion of what will be an ongoing process,” Ms Ley said.
“Having the private sector in the room with conservationists, including people from finance and equity, made for a powerful coming together in the interest of the strongest possible response to our challenges in biodiversity.”
Nature Conservancy Australia country director Rich Gilmore praised Ms Ley’s “open-minded” approach on the potential for state and federal governments to work under new arrangements, particularly with the private sector, and to investigate ways to promote habitat recovery and biodiversity on private land.
“We certainly encourage the private sector to collaborate with government on the short-term recovery effort and on building broader landscape resilience,” Mr Gilmore said.
“With a disaster of this summer’s scale, there is no way the government can do everything.
“The private estate is where investors can play a role to transform the agricultural landscape to be productive for biodiversity. A long history of evidence shows more biodiversity on farms is good for soil health and water retention. It’s good for productivity and for nature.”
Also at Thursday’s meeting was Investor Group on Climate Change chief executive Emma Herd, representing institutional investors with more than $2 trillion in funds, who said the private sector is keen to collaborate with government on environmental projects.