DRAFT GININI FLATS WETLAND COMPLEX RAMSAR MANAGEMENT PLANThank you for the opportunity to comment on the draft Ginini Flats Wetland Complex Ramsar Management Plan 2016.I understand that under new provisions of the ACT Nature Conservation ACT 2014, the ACT Conservator of Fauna and Flora must report to the ACT Environment and Climate Change Minister about the Plan at least once every five years. Once finalised and approved by the Minister, the Plan will be tabled in the ACT Legislative Assembly. This will occur early in 2017. Summary CommentsConsistent with my role as ACT Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment, my comments address the following aspects of the Plan:whether prescribed burning has been considered as a measure to protect the site;if the potential of cultural burning has been discussed with Indigenous ACT Government officers trained in this field;the importance of monitoring and recording all animal and plant species at the site, not just the Northern Corroboree Frog, Broad-toothed Rat and Sphagnum bog; anddeveloping a communications strategy that employs a range of media, including a short video with drone footage promoting the importance of the site.
Ginini Flats Wetlands Complex by vegetation type from 2015 ACT State of the Environment Report
Context map of Ginini Flats. From the draft Ginini Flats Wetland Complex Ramsar Management Plan 2016.
Ginini Flats ContextThe Ginini Flats wetland is located within Namadgi National Park near the NSW/ACT border. It is bordered to the west by Bimberi Nature Reserve managed by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS). Ginini covers 350 hectares.Ginini Flats cannot be considered in isolation and must be considered within the context of the broader landscape.Ginini Flats. Image: ACT GovernmentSignificance of Ginini FlatsGinini Flats Wetland Complex was designated as a Ramsar wetland of international importance in 1996.It includes vegetation communities of sub-alpine sphagnum bogs, associated wet heath and wet grassland habitats in a series of interconnected wetlands surrounded by snow gum woodland.The site isthe largestintact Sphagnumcristatum bog and fencommunity in the AustralianAlps.The wetland provides arange of ecosystem services– the wetlands are located inthe upper reaches of theCotter River Catchment. TheCotter River catchment is themain water source forCanberra. The wetlands playa role in water filtration andmoderating run-off. Sphagnum bogs are alsothought to play a role incarbon storage.
Spaghnum bog at the nearby Cotter Flats. Image: Mark JekabsonsPlants of Ginini FlatsThe site includes vegetation communities of sub-alpine sphagnum bogs, associated wet heath and wet grassland habitats in a series of interconnected wetlands surrounded by snow gum woodland.