In this issue

Issue 119

Editorial - A focused year

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Sea levels are rising while storms intensify
A study has confirmed that, under enhanced greenhouse conditions, the sea level in the Australian region is rising at rates that will have a significant impact over decades to come. Higher seas and changes to cyclone intensity are likely to pose a considerable increase in risk to coastal property and infrastructure.
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Leading wave energy plant begins construction
Australian company Energetech says its innovative wave energy plant at Port Kembla will put Australia at the forefront of the burgeoning wave energy industry.
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E-document incentive helps reforestation
Computershare has conceived a scheme to save costs and encourage the redirection of mountains of documentation into nationally significant reforestation projects. By choosing to receive company documents electronically, Australian shareholders will now have trees planted on their behalf by Landcare.
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Shark decline caught on camera
A study using Baited Remote Underwater Video Stations (BRUVS) suggests severe overfishing is behind a rapid decline in dwindling shark populations in parts of northern Australia.
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Positive action on coal-fired power emissions
A significant step has been taken to try to reduce the disproportionately heavy greenhouse gas emissions coming from Australia's coal-fired power stations as part of the COAL21 National Action Plan.
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Illegal takes outweigh legitimate Southern Ocean fishing
Over the last eight years, the value of illegal catch taken in Australia's southern waters surpassed that recorded by licensed operators, reinforcing concern over the undermining of fisheries' management efforts, and unresolved legal issues.
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Protection measures against Antarctica's tourist invasion
Australia is leading the initiative to control the impact of rapidly increasing Antarctic tourism, and to ensure that operators are properly regulated.
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Ningaloo Marine Park expanded
The federal government has announced an increase to boundaries of Ningaloo Marine Park, WA, by 259 square kilometres, to include two expired petroleum leases.
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2004 - A year to build on
2004 has been labelled the Year of the Built Environment. The concept is a collaborative celebration by government, industry, environmental and community groups to raise awareness about the crucial effect of the built environment on our lives.
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Do greener cities mean healthier people?
How do we measure the effect and role of urban green-areas on our lives? The groundbreaking work of a cross-disciplinary project called Greener Cities, Healthier People demonstrates a new approach to understanding and addressing the issue of liveable, sustainable cities.
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SkyCool - extraordinary paint on a hot tin roof
SkyCool is a new roof coating that almost defies the conventional laws of physics. SkyCool provides a profound cooling effect that can halve the running costs of mechanical air-conditioning in buildings with metal roofs.
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Showing the way to building innovation
A consortium known as Evergen is on a mission to encourage innovation in the construction industry. It wants to facilitate cultural change so that innovation, efficiency, sustainability and project excellence become the norm in Australia.
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Ethanol - what's it all about?
Ethanol has crept into our petrol, the media, and our lives, and is a confused issue. Steve Davidson looks at why it's on the agenda, who's behind it, and whether it is really a viable green fuel.
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Could alcohol fuels be cropped?
Researchers are examining the potential for native trees and woody shrubs to be grown as a major crop to produce bio-alcohols, both methanol and ethanol. They are talking about a serious long-term national commitment of 12 to 30 million hectares of fuel-producing land.
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A view to the future of Australia's fisheries
According to the Australian winner of 2003's prestigious Japan Prize, the path forward for our national fisheries is in improved data, ecosystem research, cutting-edge management polices, and a scheme that rewards sustainable practice. Keith Sainsbury discusses his optimistic vision.
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Taking stock: Southern bluefin on the line
Southern bluefin tuna is classified as endangered and yet, is still heavily fished internationally. Management of the stock is the ultimate fisheries case study, a balancing act involving science, long-term personal, diplomatic and political relationships, cultural sensitivities and, of course, money.
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Battlelines drawn against the cane toad march
Cane toads have been in the spotlight again due to their alarming advance into Kakadu National Park, where they are expected to threaten native species including the northern quoll. Experts recently met to up-the-ante on fight-back measures, including a potential genetic control being developed by CSIRO.
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Review - Clearly informing ecological citizens
Ecologic - Creating a Sustainable Future by Sandra McEwan.
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Review - With the heat turned up
Dead Heat: Global Justice and Global Warming by Tom Athanasiou and Paul Baer.
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Herbicides threaten north Queensland's coastal mangroves
Researchers have discovered that a common agricultural herbicide, diuron, is correlated with the severe dieback of common grey mangroves, Avicennia marina, a widespread species integral to coastal ecosystems of northern Queensland.
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Gotham City mapped for the grey nurse
Gotham City is the name given to one of six habitats identified by the Queensland Government as critical to the survival of the grey nurse shark, Carcharias taurus. These previously unstudied habitats have been mapped and biologically surveyed to provide vital baseline data to quantify any ecological changes to grey nurse shark habitats, and serve as a reference for species recovery plans and habitat management strategies.
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Insight into bird recovery in logged areas
A study suggests that it takes up to 22 years for populations of most bird species to recover in regrowth areas after intensive logging. The study showed, however, that some hollow-nesting bird species had not fully recovered because no old trees containing nesting hollows were retained. It may take up to 165 years for such trees to regrow, underlining the importance of their planned retention for native species.
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Events calendar
Forthcoming events related to sustainable development.
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