You might not realise it, but biodiversity plays a huge role in our everyday lives. The diversity within species, between species, and between ecosystems across the world is incredibly important (IPBES, 2019). Biodiversity underpins many aspects of our lives, providing a range of services from food and resources to medicines and clean drinking water (UNEP FI, 2008). Biodiversity is responsible for Australia’s aesthetic landscapes, our unique animals, for pollinating our crops, and for regulating our climate (Figure 1) (UNEP FI, 2008).

Unfortunately, Australia’s biodiversity is in crisis, and the number of threatened species in Australia have increased since the 2000s (DCCEEW, 2021). With biodiversity playing such an important role in our lives, how do we find out if the average Australian cares about conserving our environment? Reports such as Biodiversity Council’s 2024 Biodiversity Concerns Report assist with this.  

Unsplash - Kangaroo Tasmania
Figure 1 Kangaroo in Maria Island, Tasmania (Fernando, 2021) (Unsplash)

What is the Biodiversity Concerns Report, and who is the Biodiversity Council?

The 2024 Biodiversity Concerns Report (the BC Report) contains the results of the Biodiversity Council’s second annual Biodiversity Concerns Survey. The report described the Australian public’s concerns for biodiversity and support for environmental reforms. It represents what matters to the Australian public and encourages accountability for the Australian government to address the current biodiversity crisis and help influence government policies and actions.

In November and December 2023, 3421 individuals across Australia conducted a 10-minute online survey to provide their thoughts and feelings on the current state of Australia’s biodiversity and attitudes towards the environment (Biodiversity Council, 2024a).

The Biodiversity Council is a non-profit and independent organisation that is at the forefront of addressing Australia’s biodiversity crisis and aims to communicate “evidence-based solutions” (Biodiversity Council, 2024b). The council was founded in 2020 by 11 Australian universities (including the University of Western Australia) and was advocated for by the current Federal Minister for Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek (Cox, 2022). The Biodiversity Council aims to promote recognition and solutions to the biodiversity crisis in the public, policy, government, and industry (Biodiversity Council, 2024b).

Outcomes of the Report

The BC Report covers several topics in relation to biodiversity: Australian perceptions of nature and public concerns, the government’s role in protecting biodiversity and environmental reforms, species and wildlife management, and the responsibility of businesses to support nature (Biodiversity Council, 2024a).  The 2024 report found that Australians do, in fact, care deeply about the state of the environment. It revealed that 87% of Australians are at least moderately concerned about biodiversity, and 59% are very or extremely concerned (Biodiversity Council, 2024a). It also found that Australians need to connect with nature in their lives. The majority of Australians enjoy spending time with nature, often using nature for personal recreation or relaxation, and knowing that the environment is looked after is important to them (Biodiversity Council, 2024a). The specific concerns Australians have range from animal extinction to impacts of climate change, and the BC Report surveyed these issues (Figure 2).

The 2024 report also found that 65% of Australians believe the current state of the environment is in “good or very good condition” when considering the entirety of the Australian environment. When considering the environments participants interact with on an individual level, the “good or very good” indicator increased to 72% (Biodiversity Council, 2024a). 

The BC Report considered the perceptions of the government and its role in Biodiversity Protection and found that Australians believe the government (federal, state, and local) should take more action to protect the environment (Biodiversity Council, 2024b). When surveyed, 89% stated that conservation issues would influence how they will vote in future elections, and 35% stated a strong or very strong influence (Biodiversity Council, 2024a).

The survey similarly addressed the federal budget. Participants were asked how much of the budget they thought was spent on protecting the environment annually. The majority of Australians (77%) assumed it was more than 1%. However, when told that it was less than 1%, almost all participants (95%) agreed that more should be spent. Many Australians (76%) felt that a 2% or more increase in the budget should instead be allocated to protecting the environment (Biodiversity Council, 2024a).

Throughout the survey, over half of Australians indicated support for protecting native species and future generations of Australians from environmental harm and strengthening environmental laws (Figure 3) (Biodiversity Council, 2024a). The establishment of a federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was also supported by 60% of participants, and the majority agreed that upholding international commitments is important (Biodiversity Council, 2024a).

When it came to wildlife and threatened species, 9 in 10 Australians wanted to see more threatened species recovered. Currently, national environmental policies (the Threatened Species Action Plan) protect 5% of Australia’s threatened species (Biodiversity Council, 2024a). When asked what percentage of threatened species they would like to see protected by the Australian government, almost all participants (92%) wanted to see the number of protected species doubled. Less than half (46%) of Australians indicated that they wanted to see all threatened species protected and recovered (Biodiversity Council, 2024a).

Lastly, the report covered attitudes towards businesses and industry. Over half of Australians (65%) supported a proposed requirement for businesses to report their impacts on the environment (Biodiversity Council, 2024a). A similar number of Australians (63%) also supported the proposed establishment of new financial systems to allow businesses to invest more in supporting nature. The same number of Australians (63%) likewise indicated support for proposing national laws mandating assessments and considerations of carbon emissions on major projects (Biodiversity Council, 2024a).

The Reality of Biodiversity Support

While the majority of Australians (65%) believe that the current state of Australia’s environment is “good or very good”, this sadly does not reflect the reality revealed in the most recent State of the Environment report (DCCEEW, 2021). The “very good” rating indicates that the environment is “in very good condition” and has “enhanced environmental values” according to Australia’s environmental assessment ratings (DCCEEW, 2021). The 2021 State of the Environment Report revealed that biodiversity in Australia is currently assessed as being in a “poor” or “very poor” condition with diminished or heavily degraded environmental values (DCCEEW, 2021). The report also indicated that the state of Australia’s biodiversity is continuing to deteriorate. Unfortunately, this is vastly different from Australian perceptions.

Differences in reality can also be seen in Australia’s 2023-24 Federal Budget. In 2023-24, $13,779 million was budgeted for federal portfolios, and of this, $318.8 million was provided to the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (The Treasury, 2023). A smaller $49.5 million was set aside for the Nature Positive Plan in 2024. This equates to only 0.36% of total Federal Budget payment measures, which is far from the 2% spend that is supported by the majority of Australians (Biodiversity Council, 2024a). To reach a 2% spending of the Federal Budget, $275.58 million would instead need to be allocated to biodiversity-related programs.

Fortunately, the Australian Government already has commitments in place to increase financial support for the Nature Positive Plan over the next three years (The Treasury, 2023). It is, however, still below 2%. The Nature Positive Plan includes initiatives to establish a national EPA (Environment Protection Australia), an authority on environmental information (Environment Information Australia), legislative reforms, and the establishment of the Nature Repair Market (The Treasury, 2023). These initiatives would support further actions the Australian public has indicated they want to see in the Biodiversity Concerns Report.

Outside of governmental policies, many Australians are already taking actions in their daily lives that support Australian biodiversity and nature (Figure 4).  The BC Report found that Australians are willing to take action to support biodiversity. From switching to ethically responsible banks or super funds (48%), changing their voting preferences (48%), volunteering their time (47%), and advocating in more public spaces (46%) (Biodiversity Council, 2024a). More and more Australians are willing to support the environment if they are not already, and their continued advocation can help put pressure on governments to respond to their concerns.

The decline in biodiversity is occurring not only in Australia but around the world. As genetic diversity and populations of native species continue to disappear worldwide, it is more important than ever to advocate for nature (IPBES, 2019). The BC Report provides evidence of the Australian community’s current concerns for nature and biodiversity. This evidence supports the Biodiversity Council in advocating for changes to laws and policies that support biodiversity. The report also shows the Australian public that they are not alone in their concerns and suggests changes individuals can make to impact the environment in a positive way.

Integrate Sustainability Pty Ltd understands the threats biodiversity in Australia faces; if your organisation needs assistance with biodiversity concerns, please email or call 08 9468 0338.


Biodiversity Council. (2024a). 2024 Biodiversity Concerns Report: A survey of community attitudes to nature conservation. Retrieved from Biodiversity Council:

Biodiversity Council. (2024b). About the Biodiversity Council. Retrieved from Biodiversity Council:

Cox, L. (2022). Scientists create Biodiversity Council in desperate bid to help save Australia’s threatened animals and plants. Retrieved from The Guardian:

DCCEEW. (2021). Australia State of the Environment 2021: Biodiversity. Retrieved from State of the Environment 2021:

Fernando, F. (2021). Black horse running on brown grass field during daytime. Retrieved from Unsplash:

IPBES. (2019). Summary for policymakers of the global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services of the IPBES. Retrieved from Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services:

The Treasury. (2023). Budget Paper No. 2, Budget Measures 2023–24 . Retrieved from Budget 2023-24:

UNEP FI. (2008). Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Bloom or Bust? Retrieved from United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative: