If the recent flooding has shown us anything, it’s that we cannot and should not rely on slow-moving bureaucracies to solve the problems that face us. We can and must take action as individuals, families and communities. The future is in our hands.
Biodiversity is the needle that threads us all together and is a reminder that we are very much connected to nature. It includes and affects every living thing on our planet, from a tiny sandalwood seed to the tallest Eucalyptus regnans; from the smallest Pygmy Possum to the largest Red Kangaroo; from you to me. It has a direct impact on all of our lives. As humans, biodiversity gives us a functioning ecosystem that provides oxygen, clear air and water, plant pollutions, pest control, wastewater treatment, and ecosystem services.
There is growing recognition of the relationship that trees and forests play regarding climate change. The interactions between forests, water, and energy provide not only the foundations for carbon storage but for cooling the Earth’s surfaces and distributing our global water resources.
Our work in carbon sequestration has highlighted the importance of restoring native habitats. Since the 1920s, land clearing has been an issue throughout Australia. Over 44% of Australia’s forest and woodlands have been cleared and areas, such as the South West’s biodiversity hotspot, having had a dramatic loss of species biodiversity and abundance. Land clearing doesn’t just result in the devastating loss of vegetation; it also significantly affects surrounding communities, such as erosion, increased salinity, habitat loss, fragmentation, biodiversity loss, species loss, and ecosystem services disruption.
Carbon Positive Australia has been supported by Lotterywest and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to deliver a research project into the carbon market. In particular, the CarbonCare™ project is surveying farmers, landholders who have participated in carbon planting, and organisations who could potentially offset their emissions. Through this research we are hoping to gain a better understanding of the levers required to establish a successful carbon market within Western Australia.
With the recent change to mandatory reusable plastic bags in our supermarkets, it has been very easy to look back on plastic bags as the most harmful option in terms of environmental impact. Paper bags, with their biodegradable materials and recyclable disposal, are often considered to be the environmentally-friendly choice when compared with their plastic counterparts.
In fact, this is a common misconception; overall paper bags are more harmful to the environment than disposable plastic ones.