Covering 3.5 million hectares in South Queensland, the Brisbane Rivers ecosystem is a biodiversity hotspot. It includes the Gondwana Rainforests Heritage Area and Moreton Bay Ramsar site and is home to iconic animal species like koala, lungfish, dugong, platypus and eastern curlew.
Without long-term investment and conservation, the Brisbane Rivers ecosystem faces catastrophic ecological collapse within a decade. Healthy Land and Water are working with the Landscape Finance Lab to create a large, long-term investment programme to restore the ecological infrastructure of Brisbane Rivers on which liveability depends on. The programme will focus on restoring the river habitat, water quality and koala forests.
Brisbane River panorama ©Zstock on Adobe Stock
As the population in South East Queensland grows rapidly, there is a greater demand for housing and infrastructure. Such infrastructure is fragmenting large forested areas and threatening iconics species like koalas. Similarly, the area’s development has led to ecological ‘chaos’ in the river system which makes the area dramatically at risk of flooding.
The river ecosystem is valued at AUD 7 billion annually, but flood damage in the region incurred over AUD 7 billion in recovery costs during 2022. There are further correlated impacts that undermine the resilience of natural systems on which life depends on - for instance new algal blooms will emerge undermining farm and fishery productivity and threatening drinking water supply.
Healthy Land and Water along with the Lab and consortium partners want to steer investment into restorative land use and regenerative business practices. Over three phases, this programme will build a landscape finance instrument that shows pathways to scalable investment approaches - including carbon and biodiversity payments and policy packages that incentivise regenerative development. Phase 1 went live in 2023 and focuses on structuring the project (evidence gathering, stakeholder engagement, action planning) with Phase 2 (Design and Fund) projected to go live in 2024-2025.
Koala © Steve Franklin on Unsplash
Brisbane suburb flooded ©On-Air on Adobe Stock
Wetlands & Peatlands
Coastal & Reef
Commodity Production Landscapes
Carbon storage and/or sequestration
Landscape and marine corridors
Integrated water resources management
Ecosystem restoration landscape
Green economy landscape
Species protection landscape
Sustainable Development Goals