I’m currently in Cairns at the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation‘s Annual Conference where scientists from all over the world have amassed for get the latest on tropical ecology and conservation. Unfortunately, all of them have arrived in an Australia different to the one they knew or admired from afar. The environmental devastation unleashed by the stupid policies of the Abbottoir government has attracted the attention and ire of some of the world’s top scientists. This is what they have to say about it (with a little help from me):
ASSOCIATION FOR TROPICAL BIOLOGY AND CONSERVATION
RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF STRONGER LAWS FOR CLIMATE-CHANGE MITIGATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION IN AUSTRALIA
Australia has many trees, amphibians, and reptiles that are unique, being found nowhere else on Earth. Northern Australia contains a disproportionate amount of this biodiversity which occurs in little developed areas, parks and reserves, indigenous titled lands, and community-managed lands.
Whilst Australia’s achievements in protecting some of its remaining native forests, wildlife and wilderness are applauded, some 6 million hectares of forest have been lost since 2000. Existing forest protection will be undermined by weak climate change legislation, and poorly regulated agricultural and urban development.
The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC), the world’s largest organisation dedicated to the study and conservation of tropical ecosystems, is concerned about recent changes in Australia’s environmental regulations, reduced funding for scientific and environmental research, and support for governmental and civil society organisations concerned with the environment.
Securing Australia’s environmental heritage for its future citizens and the global community will be undermined without strong environmental legislation and leadership that empowers government agencies, communities and local environmental organisations to protect rain forests. This requires sufficient funding for research that can advise the management of these sensitive areas, environmental progress in Australia will be hampered, and the inheritance of its future citizens compromised.
At this 2014 annual meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, in Cairns, Australia, we, the association representing 589 scientists and conservationists from 55 nations including Australia DECLARE:
Whereas, the industrialised Commonwealth of Australia has one of the world’s highest per capita greenhouse-gas emission rates in the world, and relies primarily on fossil fuels for its electricity generation, it still is a major contributor to global climate disruption.
Whereas, human-caused climate disruption (global warming) is now one of the greatest threats to species and ecosystems worldwide, and will increasingly exacerbate the current extinction crisis arising from human endeavour.
Whereas, Australia has experienced severe fragmentation of biologically unique habitats as a result of human development, in part resulting in the world’s highest mammal extinction rate, and a major loss of other plant and animal species.
Whereas Australia has recently weakened or overturned decades of legislation designed to protect its sensitive natural ecosystems and species, as well as altered demonstrably effective climate-change mitigation strategies such as elimination of the carbon-pricing scheme.
Therefore, be it resolved that the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation: