East Coast Cape Barren Island Lagoons Ramsar Site Ecological Character Description Introductory Notes

(a)Treaties, legislation and regulations

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(a)Treaties, legislation and regulations

The following section outlines the treaties, legislation and regulations that are relevant to the ECCBIL Ramsar site. For further information regarding international, national or state legislation or policies, refer to http://www.austlii.edu.au/.


  • The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance - an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. Negotiated through the 1960s by countries and non-governmental organisations that were concerned at the increasing loss and degradation of wetland habitat for migratory waterbirds, the treaty was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971 and came into force in 1975. It is the only global environmental treaty that deals with a particular ecosystem, and the Convention's member countries cover all geographic regions of the planet (Ramsar Convention 2009)

  • The Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of Japan for the Protection of Migratory Birds in Danger of Extinction and their Environment (JAMBA) (1974)

  • The Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the People’s Republic of China for the Protection of Migratory Birds and their Environment (CAMBA) (1986)

The JAMBA and CAMBA are bilateral agreements relating to the conservation of migratory birds and were formed with the Government of Japan in 1974 and the People’s Republic of China in 1986. They list terrestrial, water and shorebird species which migrate between Australia and the respective countries. In both cases the majority of listed species are shorebirds. Both agreements require the parties to protect migratory birds by:

  • limiting the circumstances under which migratory birds are taken or traded

  • protecting and conserving important habitats

  • exchanging information

  • building cooperative relationships.

The JAMBA agreement also includes provisions for cooperation on the conservation of threatened birds. Australian government and non-government representatives meet every two years with Japanese and Chinese counterparts to review progress in implementing the agreements and to explore new initiatives to conserve migratory birds (DEWHA 2009a).

  • The Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Republic of Korea for the Protection of Migratory Birds and their Environment (ROKAMBA) (2006) – a bilateral migratory bird agreement similar to the JAMBA and CAMBA. Australia and the Republic of Korea agreed to develop ROKAMBA and the agreement came into force in 2007. The ROKAMBA formalises Australia's relationship with the Republic of Korea in respect to migratory bird conservation and provides a basis for collaboration on the protection of migratory shorebirds and their habitat (DEWHA 2009a).

  • Convention on the Conservation of Migratory species of Wild Animals (Bonn Convention) - The Bonn Convention adopts a framework in which countries with jurisdiction over any part of the range of a particular species co-operate to prevent migratory species becoming endangered. For Australian purposes, many of the species are migratory birds.



  • The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) - is the Australian Government's central piece of environmental legislation. It provides a legal framework to protect and manage nationally and internationally important flora, fauna, ecological communities and heritage places — defined in the EPBC Act as matters of national environmental significance. The EPBC Act provides for protection and promotes cooperative management of Australia's Ramsar wetlands. Ramsar wetlands are recognised as a matter of national environmental significance under the EPBC Act. In Australia a 'declared Ramsar wetland' is a wetland, or part of a wetland, designated by the Commonwealth under Article 2 of the Ramsar Convention for inclusion in the List of Wetlands of International Importance kept under that Article The EPBC Act also establishes criteria for declaring threatened wetlands of international importance and subordinate legislation (EPBC Regulations 2000) promotes best practice management of Ramsar wetlands through nationally consistent management principles.

7.a.ii.2Guidelines and policies

  • The National Framework and Guidance for Describing the Ecological Character of Australian Ramsar Wetlands. Module 2 of the National Guidelines for Ramsar Wetlands (DEWHA 2008) - provides background information on ecological character, guidance on interpreting terms, the essential elements of an ecological character description, and a step-by-step guide to developing a description of ecological character for wetlands.

  • The Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality 2000 - provides a framework for water resource management, and states specific water quality guidelines for each environmental value and the context within which they should be applied.

  • EPBC Act Policy Statement 1.1: Significant Impact Guidelines” 2006 - provides overarching guidance on determining whether an action is likely to have a significant impact on a matter of national environmental significance protected by the EPBC Act.


A number of state policies and legislation and regulations are relevant to the site and include:

  • Nature Conservation Act 2002 - makes provision with respect to the conservation and protection of the fauna, flora and geological diversity of the State, to provide for the declaration of national parks and other reserved land and for related purposes.

  • Wildlife Regulations 1999 - provides for regulations under the Nature Conservation Act 2002.

  • Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 - provides for the protection and management of threatened native flora and fauna and to enable and promote the conservation of native flora and fauna.

  • Forest Practices Act 1985 - ensures that all forest practices are conducted in accordance with the Forest Practices Code, to provide for the issue of that Code, to provide for the creation of private timber reserves, to provide for the constitution of the Forest Practices Tribunal, and to provide for incidental and consequential matters.

  • Aboriginal Relics Act 1975 - provides for the preservation of aboriginal relics.

  • Inland Fisheries Act 1995 - consolidates the law relating to inland fisheries.

  • Water Management Act 1999 - provides for the management of Tasmania’s water resources. In particular the Act is to provide for the use and management of freshwater resources in Tasmania having regard to the need to:

Promote sustainable use and facilitate economic development of water resources.

Recognise and foster the significant social and economic benefits resulting from the sustainable use and development of water resources for the generation of hydro-electricity and for the supply of water for human consumption and commercial activities dependent on water.

Maintain ecological processes and genetic diversity for aquatic and riparian ecosystems.

Provide for the fair, orderly and efficient allocation of water resources to meet the community’s needs.

Increase the community’s understanding of aquatic ecosystems and the need to use and manage water in a sustainable and cost-efficient manner.

Encourage community involvement in water resources management.

  • Aboriginal Lands Act 1995 - promotes reconciliation with the Tasmanian Aboriginal community by granting to Aboriginal people certain parcels of land of historic or cultural significance.

  • Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995 –promotes the sustainable management of living marine resources, to provide for management plans relating to fish resources, to protect marine habitats and to repeal the Fisheries Act 1959.

  • State Policy on Water Quality Management 1997 - provides for the sustainable management of Tasmania's surface water and groundwater resources by protecting or enhancing their qualities while allowing for sustainable development in accordance with the objectives of Tasmania’s Resource Management and Planning System.

  • State Coastal Policy 1996 – promotes the sustainable development of Tasmania’s coastal resources.

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