Mining is digging the heart out of conservation covenantsAcross Australia, landholders are signing conservation agreements or covenants to protect biodiversity on their property. These agreements, offered by state governments, create private protected areas that commonly bind future landholders to protect the property’s biodiversity, ensuring the long-term survival of plant and animal communities.
It seems like a good deal: a private protected area comes at little to no cost to the government and offers protection to biodiversity that might not otherwise have been protected.
Unfortunately there’s a catch. The government does not exempt these private protected areas from mining activities. Rather, in all states of Australia, the government can still give miners permits to explore and extract in these private protected areas.