In this issue

Issue 118

Editorial - Out, and about practical changes

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Thinking urged on the Free Trade Agreement's environmental impact
A study into the possible environmental impacts of the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement predicted significant effects from the large expected increases in agricultural production and transport, but has drawn attention to the need for formal assessment of the underlying environmental effects of Trade agreements, including from integral legal and policy issues.
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Eco standards pay off for Fuji Xerox
Fuji Xerox Australia's Mascot warehouse and Eco-Manufacturing Centre saved $27 million in 2003 by remanufacturing and repairing parts used in its hardware products. The company has begun uncovering the significant benefits of a commitment to more sustainable practice since rolling out the ISO-certified environmental management system across its Asia-Pacific company network.
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Rust wins against rampant rubber vine
Australian releases of a rust fungus against the highly invasive rubber vine weed (Cryptostegia grandiflora) have proved highly successful.
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Greener buildings at the touch of a button
Australian expertise in IT and software, environmental science, and design science has combined to produce a world first tool that looks set lead the burgeoning sustainable construction industry. Dubbed the 'green calculator', the LCADesign software gives building industry professionals an immediate cost and environmental 'footprint' assessment of any commercial building.
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Ozone hole hope
CSIRO researchers, using data from the Cape Grim Baseline Station, Tas, have found that the levels of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in the atmosphere have at last begun to decline.
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Methane levels out
CSIRO results from Tasmania's Cape Grim facility have shown that atmospheric concentrations of methane have stopped growing in the global background atmosphere.
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Better predictions from WA's climate initiative
The Western Australian State Government's Indian Ocean Climate Initiative (IOCI) is aiming for greater understanding of WA's climate across seasons, years and decades.
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Reshaping the future of cities
Unless significant changes are made to the way we shape and build our cities, the 21st century looks bleak for Australia. This is the sharp outlook of Reshaping Cities for a More Sustainable Future, a CSIRO study that explored the integral links between urban form, energy and air quality.
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The great dingo dilution
Australia's only wild dog, the iconic dingo, has survived a couple of hundred years of persecution - from shooting, trapping and poisoning. Ironically, it is now at grave risk of disappearing. The greatest threat isn't so much over-hunting or the usual culprit, habitat destruction; it's the friendly domestic dog.
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A bold blueprint
Western Australia's government has committed Western Australians to a sustainable way of doing things with release of a wide-ranging, sustainability strategy for the next 5 to 10 years, and beyond. Hope for the Future: The Western Australian State Sustainability Strategy is Australia's first comprehensive sustainability strategy at the State level.
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A recycling renaissance?
After several years of foundering, responsible recycling is becoming financially attractive again.
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A bigger picture of disturbance
Unique, simultaneous studies across different Australian landscapes have thrown up some real surprises about biodiversity conservation in disturbed areas - particularly pine plantations. Graeme O'Neill reports on David Lindenmayer's long-range work to forge a new understanding of ecological priorities.
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A heap of great returns
Australian innovator and determined entrepreneur, John Dobozy, is taking on one of the globe's confounding environmental challenges: used tyres. His unique and innovative Molectra processing technology transforms tyres into their component parts, producing jet fuel, carbon for diamonds and other commodities that can be reused in an encouraging array of value-added products.
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People power is working for the landscape
Strathfieldsaye Estate, an historic farming property in Victoria's Gippsland region has become the focus of a unique community 'living lab' partnership between landowners, scientists and the government, who are working together to understand and restore the area's natural resources.
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Costing Mother Nature's service
The central role of healthy ecosystems in providing critical services has been, until very recently, overlooked and often taken for granted. Australia is leading the world in assessing and valuing ecosystems' 'free' services.
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Driving a revolution in the paddock
The environmental and productivity benefits of precision driving are converting Australian and international farmers to controlled traffic farming.
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Koalas are losing out to traffic
More koalas living near urban areas are being killed on roads as traffic increases with development. Innovative measures are needed to divert koalas from roadsides.
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Review - A new view of environmental politics
Renegotiating the Environment: The Power of Politics by Jenny Stewart and Grant Jones.
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Review - Watching coral reefs up close
Coral Reef Adventure by MacGillvray Freeman Films.
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Review - Teaching companies sustainability
Choronos® by The World Business Council for Sustainable Development is designed to help increase business interest in, and action on, sustainable development.
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Bacteria help wattles 're-green' Australia
Re-planting areas cleared of native vegetation is difficult and time consuming, but it is vital to combating salinity and the loss of biodiversity on farms. A CSIRO team has found that a soil bacterium called Bradyrhizobium can significantly improve the establishment and growth of wattles, one species planted to assist farmland.
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Plants could give us the good oil
An innovative project plans to tap into Australia's existing crop production systems to produce large and sustainable quantities of key fish oils for human consumption and aquaculture. The project aims to identify and transfer genes for essential omega-3 oil (fatty acid) production, from marine microalgae to oilseed plants such as canola or linseed.
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Waste plastic to clean fuel
An innovative solution could help Australia reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the coal loads required by the iron and steel industries. Waste plastic will be used as a fuel in blast furnaces at ironworks, rather than heading for landfill, if a study confirms the process's feasibility.
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Events calendar
Forthcoming events related to sustainable development.
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