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Issue 123




Editorial - A new decade

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The World Conservation Congress crystallises priorities
The 3rd IUCN (World Conservation Union) World Conservation Congress held in Bangkok in November 2004 showed promisingly how reliable information and scientific know-how, passion for healthy ecosystems, and powerful collaboration across society can improve the well-being of the worlds 6 billion people and the 15,589 species identified in the IUCN latest Red List of Threatened Species.
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Moves to more widely protect deep ocean habitats
Australia will support the United Nations' recent agreement to strongly protect 'high seas' areas of significant biodiversity from destructive fishing practices in waters beyond the national jurisdiction.
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Tougher drive to reduce industrial packaging waste
National Environment Protection and Heritage Councillors agreed in December that more needs to be done to reduce the large amount of industrial waste going to landfill. New, tougher targets out to 2008 are being set to try to ensure this is achieved.
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An encouraging increase in used-oil recycling
The Governments Product Stewardship for Oil Program, which provides industry incentives to collect and recycle used oil, seems to be working very well. About 80% of Australias used oil was collected and recycled last year, increasing volumes from 160 million litres to over 230 million litres per year, a rise of 40%.
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Australia┬┐s marine assessment team assisting the Maldives
CSIRO, the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) are coordinating a marine and fisheries taskforce currently stationed in the Maldives to assess the effects of the recent tsunami on marine
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A whale strandings database and network is developing
The spate of whale strandings in Australia and New Zealand in the last six months have spurred efforts to establish a mammals stranding database and a scientific research network to help understanding of why the phenomenon occurs and share key information.
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Consuming desires
Consumption of non-essential goods is at the heart of unsustainable practice in much of the Western world, including Australia. Sophie Constance considers the economic and marketing forces that drive our modern over-consumption habits, and introduces an increased significance of marketing in business and the emergence of 'societal marketing'.
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Transforming thinking
Over the next 10 years, millions of people in both developed and developing nations are likely to gain a greater knowledge of sustainability through education initiatives under the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, or DESD, (2005-2014). Its global objectives are ambitions and uplifting.
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The 10-year challenge
As Chair of Education for Sustainable Development at the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Commission on Education and Communication, Daniella Tilbury is playing a leading role in the development of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. She outlines her view of the challenges and great opportunities ahead, and considers Australias chance to develop initiatives.
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Air transport impacts take off
Does the phenomenal growth in air transport, with global air traffic growing 9% a year since 1960, have an insidious downside?
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In quest of the vanishing ice
In May 2005, two seasoned explorers will set out on the first summer crossing of the Arctic ice cap ever attempted. Their goal - to help assess the impact of global warming on the Pole.
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Plants for people
The Plants for People program is helping Aboriginal people develop innovative small businesses around traditional knowledge of native plants and their uses. By helping to build self-esteem and self-sufficiency within remote communities, the initiative is also opening up avenues for better communication, and improving appreciation of the value of Aboriginal culture.
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On the trail of sexual chemistry
Australia is behind in understanding the levels of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in waterways and their effects on wildlife reproductive systems. Now concerted research efforts are being made to better assess local impacts.
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Connecting sustainable agriculture to consumers
With consumers becoming increasingly fastidious about the food and products they buy, big new markets are growing. According to a recent study investigating the marketing of sustainable agriculture, the doors for Australian farmers and exporters have opened, with environmental benefits.
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Review - water innovation
Water Innovation by Kathleen H. Bowmer.
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Review - global trends in focus
The Little Green Handbook by Ron Nielsen.
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Review - higher performing companies
The Sustainable Company by Chris Laszlo.
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Software promises a bird-friendly solution for orchards
Orchardists have long been frustrated that current methods for scaring away fruit-eating birds are only effective in the short-term because birds learn to ignore the usual deterrents. Innovative bird-call recognition software might now solve the problem, with the potential to save fruit growers million of dollars annually in crops lost to birds. There may also be wider uses for the program internationally.
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A rescue mission for a metal recycler
CSIRO Minerals has been investigating simple and cheap new ways to reduce problematic sludge waste volumes from metal shredding processes and to increase the recovery of metals and other recyclable materials - something in which steel producer Smorgon Steel Recycling is interested.
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Sustainable use of native animals: a great debate
In the last decade or so, some scientists and conservationists have advocated sustainable commercial use of native wildlife as a conservation measure - a way to protect habitats where existing methods cannot. This has caused passionate debate.
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Events calendar
Forthcoming events related to sustainable development.
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