In this issue

Issue 136

Editorial: The pace of change
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has met again and followed through with some significant decisions on climate change adaptation measures, most of which were under-reported in the general media. These moves not only signal that the threat of climate change is now being fully acknowledged by government, but that the pace of commitment to counter measures has shifted too.
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Reconnecting country at a landscape scale
Celebrations on either side of the continent have marked impressive developments for two visionary Australian landscape reconnection projects. Gondwana Link in south-west Western Australia and Kosciusko to Coast in New South Wales are vast collaborative projects that are securing a future for unique and threatened land, water and wildlife.
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Mercury threat from fluorescents prompts call for recycling laws
While the Australian Government's move to phase out incandescent light bulbs in favour of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) by 2010 has been welcomed as an important initiative against global warming, concern has been raised that discarded fluorescent lights bring a new environmental problem - higher levels of poisonous mercury in landfill.
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Long-range climate prediction help for Pacific islands
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology and AusAID have collaborated on a $3 million, three-year project to help 10 Pacific island countries improve their long-range climate predictions for planning in areas that may be affected by climate shift, such as health and water supply.
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El Nino, Indonesian fires and pollution
While the link between El Nino and drought in eastern Australia is well established, recent NASA satellite and rainfall data suggest El Nino may also have boosted wildfire activity in Indonesia, adding to pollution levels over the Indian Ocean.
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Off-the-shelf disinfectants kill devastating frog fungus
James Cook University scientists have discovered that a commercially available disinfectant can kill the deadly chytrid fungus, which has wiped out several Australian frog species.
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Cane toads may spread beyond their 'natural' limits
The introduced cane toad, currently impacting Australia's northern ecosystems, may migrate further south than previously thought because of its ability to rapidly adapt to climatic conditions.
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New Zealand to be carbon neutral by 2020
New Zealand's Prime Minister, Helen Clarke, has announced that New Zealand is aiming to be the first country to be carbon neutral by 2020, with zero net carbon emissions across all sectors.
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Would you pay to offset your air travel emissions?
Australians can now offset the environmental impacts of their air travel - but how many will want to? Gillian Kendall asks the question of airline carbon levies.
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Council achievers have a global reach
Through a range of international campaigns and remarkably effective support programs, ICLEI has empowered local governments in 67 countries to engage business, industry, residents and wider levels of government to seize the sustainability initiative.
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The lapse of luxury
With luxury hotels booming around the world, Matthew Brace reviews what this rapidly growing sector of the Australian tourism industry is doing to reduce its appreciable environmental impact, and educate its guests.
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Winning nature photography
Stuart Miller, a Perth-based surgeon, started the ANZANG Nature landscape photography competition in 2004. A conservationist and photographer himself, he says he established the competition with the aim of encouraging greater public appreciation of the Australasian region's natural heritage.
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Politics adds to Macquarie Island's pest problem
A comprehensive eradication program to rid Macquarie Island of rabbits, rats and mice is being delayed by a dispute between the Tasmanian and Federal governments over who will foot the bill.
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Aquaculture advances
In the past decade, aquaculture has become a $100 billion global industry - the fastest growing food-production sector since the advent of intensive agriculture in the 1950s. Australia's industry, while still relatively small, is setting high standards for quality, environmental rigour and innovative research.
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Climate leaders: the new corporate standards
Being 'climate neutral' is rapidly becoming the new corporate standard and part of a broader movement to become more efficient and less polluting. Numerous organizations in Australia, large and small, have recently committed to this emergent international goal, making use of energy efficiency opportunities, greener power and a range of carbon offset schemes to achieve the negating of their calculated total climate impact.
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The nappy changers: breaking down the impact of a billion nappies
This year, Australian parents will throw away one billion used disposable nappies, each taking up to 300 years to decompose. With a life cycle that involves considerable environmental impact, it was inevitable that an eco-friendly solution to the global nappy stream would emerge. What’s more, it's Australian-led.
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Review - 'Not the flake, thanks': choosing seafood wisely
The pocket-sized Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide, published by the Australian Marine Conservation Society, is an easy-to-use reference that lists the sustainability status of 60 seafood species available in supermarkets, restaurants and other retail outlets across Australia.
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Review - Reviewing the organic farming phenomenon
Organic agriculture by definition implies the idea of appropriate farming based on an understanding of the local environment. So why a book with a 'global perspective'?
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A community airs its views about water access
While federal and state governments battle for 'ownership' of the Murray River, there is at least one place along the watercourse where the local community is able to register its concerns about access to water.
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Ocean management goes global
As climate change and overfishing take their toll on ocean ecosystems, an ambitious new project is underway to monitor physical ocean changes and track the movement and behaviour of sea creatures, on a global scale.
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Events Calendar

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