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The GBCA has released a landmark discussion paper

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has released a discussion paper called Building with nature that calls for a renewed focus on prioritising biodiversity and ecology in our buildings and cities.

Analysing global and domestic research and evidence, the paper points to the significant positive impacts green space and biodiversity have on people and urban space. It also warns that rapid urbanisation is putting pressure on ecosystems and threatening biodiversity.

The paper outlines a potential new set of principles that the built environment should follow to bring nature back into the built environment, and details how Green Star, Australia’s leading rating system for the built environment, will evolve when awarding a rating to help increase the amount of urban green space in our cities.

The GBCA’s Head of Market Transformation, Jorge Chapa, said Green Star has a proven track record transforming companies’ approaches to sustainability in the built environment and was a powerful platform from which to drive better ecology and biodiversity outcomes.

“Cities depend on healthy ecosystems to sustain long-term conditions for life, health and ongoing prosperity, but the economic value of ecosystems and biodiversity is usually not adequately accounted for in conventional economic accounting,” she said. “We need to do more to change the equation.”

The discussion paper considers international research and policy from sources such as the World Health Organisation, the International Convention on Biological Diversity and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, as well as Australian-specific sources such as the Blue Print for Living Cities, the Australian Biodiversity Conservation Strategy and 202020 Vision. It also considers how Green Star may align with established initiatives and policies such as the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Building with nature: Prioritising ecology and biodiversity for better buildings and cities was produced with the support of Stockland. A copy of the Executive Summary is available here and the full paper can be downloaded here.

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