Nature Positive Sydney

‘Nature-positive’ refers to a world where nature – species and ecosystems – are restored and regenerated rather than declining. Research demonstrates that nature-positive solutions can assist cities in rebuilding in a healthier and more resilient manner, while also creating opportunities for social and economic development.

To Aboriginal people, the landscape encompasses various interconnected features, including land, water, plants and animals, places and stories, historical and current uses, and people and their interactions with each other and the land. Language serves as the starting point, with First Nations knowledge of place embedded in names like Parramatta, which means ‘the place where the eels lie down.’ Embracing this ongoing process of connecting and healing Country is essential. This entails adopting a long-term, even timeless, perspective of nature and its value for wellbeing, incorporating practices such as preserving connections to waterways in their natural states and retaining the form of natural landscapes (for instance, by refraining from developing ridges) to prevent further cultural heritage loss through development.

Many of Sydney’s roads and side streets – including George Street, Oxford Street, and Parramatta Road – trace their origins back to the original tracks and pathways created by Aboriginal people before the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788. Parramatta Road served as a vital link connecting Aboriginal communities from Wiradjuri Country, through the Blue Mountains to Sydney, passing through an important gathering area now known as Victoria Park, adjacent to the University of Sydney.

Sydney boasts remarkable examples of preserving and enhancing living infrastructure within the city, providing a solid foundation for improving the connection between people and nature. The city’s natural assets – waterways, coastline, national parks, and native bushland – offer a diverse environment for both people and nature to thrive. This includes spaces such as the 30-hectare Royal Botanic Gardens and the Domain, the 400-hectare Australian Botanic Garden at Mount Annan featuring native flora and fauna, and the 2000-hectare bushland corridor within the Western Sydney Parklands, which includes remnant and regenerated bushland and wetland ecosystems. Additionally, approximately 45 kilometers southwest of Sydney, between the Georges River and Illawarra Escarpment, lies the 7200-hectare Dharawal National Park, Nature Reserve, and State Conservation Area.



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