In this issue

Issue 176


Secure social licence calls for 'big picture' thinking
‘Social licence to operate' has become central to the current debate between the mining and extractive industries and the community over activities such as coal seam gas (CSG) extraction in Queensland. But what does the term actually mean, and how is such a licence secured?
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Whichever way you look at it, green buildings save dollars and make sense
Green buildings are improving sustainability and helping to combat climate change. Australia is at the forefront of this effort, and is recognised a global leader in the green building space. There is, however, room for improvement.
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Citizen science data for the birds?
Properly executed, ecological surveys can tell us a lot about a species. We can use this information to decide what to manage when, if our management approach is working, or if there is a need for policy reform. But systematic surveys of large areas by professional scientists are expensive.
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'Low hanging fruit' to enrich the tropics
Many tropical tree species largely ignored by modern agriculture could, if domesticated, form the basis of integrated rural development in the tropics, says agroforestry expert Professor Roger Leakey. Prof. Leakey says these trees have the potential to alleviate poverty, hunger and malnutrition while also countering environmental degradation and climate change.
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Fields of conflict: agriculture, food production and biodiversity
If ecological science is to contribute meaningfully to the pressing environmental concerns of the globe, it needs to do more than document the decline of biodiversity. The theory and experimentation that underpins ecology should ultimately inform the decisions required to wisely and sustainably manage natural resources, and the rehabilitation and protection of conservation areas.
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A safer passage back to the wild
More than 30 dedicated volunteer wildlife rehabilitation networks in Australia rescue sick, injured or orphan animals and prepare them for release back to the wild. The Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Network (WIRES) in New South Wales, for example, fielded more than 100 000 emergency phone calls and rescued more than 56 000 native animals in 2010 alone.
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Lens onto a hidden world
Had I not already been an initiate to the beauty of bats, I would certainly have been converted after reading this book.
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When the rivers ran wild: fishing tales from another world
The author of the book True Tales of the Trout Cod, is intrigued by the strong social and cultural connections that Australians have to the Murray–Darling Basin's native fish and waterways. The recollections he has documented point to a very different river system than the one we see today.
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In Brief - Round-up of sustainability news

Social media ‘barometer’ to help gauge community concerns
Mature forest becomes laboratory for outdoor climate change experiment
Smarter ways to spend our water
Response to 'Entertainment giant uses influence to help protect tropical forests'
How dingoes protect wildlife from feral cats
Our Big Backyard: 14 million hectares under care of regional NRM groups
Simple ‘switch’ in metals processing that could power a city
Olfactory trick keeps rats away from native birds
Entertainment giant uses influence to help protect tropical forests
Aussie wattles a gift or pest?
Biodiversity: Global policy needs scientific approach
Condamine River wins 2012 Australian Riverprize
Sea urchin’s spines a clue to lighter, stronger materials?
Crime accounts for lion’s share of tropical deforestation
Birds disappearing at a faster rate than predicted
Academic reveals big brands’ greenwash scams
Water pricing linked to well-being of older Australians
Sole Aussie company in global Cleantech 100 has CSIRO connection
Less rain as sub-tropical dry-zone moves poleward
How does the meeting of the Pacific and Indian oceans affect our climate?
Diamond mining clean-up recognised at Golden Geckos
Hubs to channel research for water-smart cities
Old koala DNA shows 'modern' disease is not so new
Fancy visiting a coral reef? Dive into Google Maps
New tools to encourage sustainable business and investment
Graduates successfully released back to the wild

Climate Change Bulletin - Our brief on global warming

Mozzie protein alert to invading viruses

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