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Issue 126




Editorial - Resourceful thinking

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Sale of weeds online highlights the need for tighter controls
The regular online sale of declared weeds in Australia has highlighted the inadequacy of the current state-based system of weed management, and reiterated the urgency for more stringent national controls.
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A counter attack launched on invasive animals
The Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre is a new venture aiming to develop solutions to combat the scourge of invasive animals in Australia that is inflicting at least $720 million worth of damage to agricultural production annually.
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Coastline retreat predictions questioned
University of Sydney academics say they have advanced models which show that the erosion around Australia's coastline predicted in July's Allen Group Report could be almost twice that indicated for the same climate-change projections.
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Life could be cooler with sugar coated roads
Australian company, EcoPave, has developed a commercially viable, non-petroleum-based asphalt substitute made from organic wastes. Its GEO320 asphalt not only out-performs regular, 'old-fashioned' road asphalt bitumen, it is also less toxic and promises reduced environmental impacts.
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Marine DNA work eases drug search pressure on wild stocks
By cloning marine DNA into the common bacterium E. coli, researchers hope to obtain a sustainable supply of exciting new drug leads from the sea, without compromising wild stocks of the marine species currently collected for new drug research.
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Crucial steps forward recognised at the Eurekas
The 2005 Australian Museum Eurkea Prizes showcased some outstanding national and international research contributions to sustainable development.
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The power of a camera
In India, the fate of forests, wilderness and wild creatures hangs by a thread in the face of human need and exploitation. Independent filmmaker Shekar Dattatri is wielding his camera in an inspired personal bid to save India's fast-vanishing nature.
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Young people aren't all totally into 'stuff'
Combined youth spending power in the 11 major economies, including Australia, exceeds US$750 billion per year. But recent national research shows that against a constant marketing onslaught, young people seem to be becoming more aware of being a key part of the solution to over-consumption and its impact on global resources and are thinking about more sustainable ways of living.
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More fairly labelled
Fairtrade Labelling is a rapidly growing global brand helping citizens in developed countries to purchase sustainably produced goods that drive a better deal, and stable livelihoods, for the world's poorest producers.
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Affluenza in Australia
Recent work by The Australia Institute has highlighted the issue of consumption spending, and the relationship between wealth and overall satisfaction with life. The research shows that despite generally having higher incomes, better living standards and significantly more household goods, people appear to be less happy.
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Thailand's renaissance monarch
To exemplify forest renewal, water conservation and agricultural self-sufficiency, Thailand's revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej,Rama IX, converted his chief residence into an experimental farm, demonstration forest and showcase of sustainable agriculture and technology. Under His Majesty's expert guidance are also a range of special-purpose agricultural and fisheries projects that are developing throughout the country.
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A planned cultural economy for Cape York
A new report acknowledges Cape York Peninsula as a globally significant cultural landscape requiring innovative and sensitive solutions to its impending development challenges. The report could be a blueprint for the future planning of Australia┬┐s northern regions.
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Seeing the light - Is the resources sector changing?
The perception in some quarters that the minerals, mining and energy industry is 'dirty and dangerous' persists. But is this image changing as the sector begins to more earnestly embrace sustainable development principles?
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Australian performance - An international perspective
The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) is a CEO-led organisation dedicated to economic progress and environmental and social responsibility. How does it consider progress in the Australian resources sector?
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Rio Tinto's approach
Australia's Rio Tinto, one of world┬┐s largest resource companies, has the philosophy 'that there is no conflict between sustainable development and business'. The company says turning that philosophy into action has been made possible largely by the pragmatic culture of the minerals industry.
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Review - Retro-fit a green house
Making Your Home Sustainable: A Guide to Retrofitting by Derek Wrigley.
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Review - Low impact travel
Tread Lightly: A Guide to Travelling Green in Australia by Robyn Stewart.
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Review - A practical guide to better policy
Environment and Sustainabillity Policy: Creation, Implementation and Evaluation by Stephen Dovers.
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HIPPIES assessed who eats whom around Heard Island
In 2003 the Australian Antarctic Division conducted an ambitious ecosystems study on sub-Antarctic Heard Island. Called the 'Heard Island Predator-Prey Investigation and Ecosystem Study' or 'HIPPIES', the research provided an insight into the predatory food web in the region, giving important new baseline information for local fisheries management.
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Fish food from wastewater
Australia's Environmental Biotechnology Cooperative Research Centre (EBCRC) is studying the principles of using waste from livestock to fertilise aquaculture systems to turn the nutrient-rich wastewater from intensive agricultural industries into useful products.
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Events Calendar
Forthcoming events related to sustainable development.
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