pitcher-plant
Pitcher plant - Photo © Parks and Wildlife

The Wetlands Coordinating Committee was established in 1998 by the then Minister for the Environment to advise on the implementation of the pdfWetlands Conservation Policy for Western Australia6 MB and coordinate the activities of relevant agencies in relation to wetland conservation.

The committee includes representatives from the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage, Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, the Western Australian Local Government Association, two non-government wetland scientists and two voluntary conservation movement representatives. The Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions chairs and provides executive officer support to the committee.

Some of the activities coordinated by the committee are guided by sub-committees and working groups made up of additional state and local government agencies, community representatives and independent scientists.

The Wetlands Coordinating Committee tracks progress on national and state wetland policies and reviews and endorses key wetland projects and guidelines including regional mapping projects. Activity Reports are also produced detailing the achievements in relation to the coordination and implementation of the Wetlands Conservation Policy for Western Australia.

Wetland Status Working Group

The Wetland Status Working Group's primary task is to provide the Wetlands Coordinating Committee with technical advice and recommendations regarding wetland mapping—identification, delineation, classification and evaluation—and wetland status matters (such as the identification of wetland loss). The group also provides input into guidelines on wetland mapping and evaluation procedures.

In undertaking technical review of regional and sub-regional mapping projects, the group focuses on aspects such as rigour of mapping methodology, and quality and accuracy of the data produced. This ensures that endorsed mapping products (such as spatial datasets used on geographic information systems) are of a high standard for use in a wide variety of applications. The guidance of the group also assists to ensure a level of consistency in wetland mapping methods so that outcomes are comparable within and between regions of WA.

Wetland Buffer Guideline Working Group

The Wetland Buffer Guideline Working Group investigates buffer requirements to provide adequate protection and management of wetland areas through the development of guidelines applied consistently across government.