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Chairs' Update 3 November 2015 | Commonwealth Marine Reserves Review

Department of the Environment - Thu, 2015-11-05 12:01
Find out the latest updates on the Commonwealth Marine Reserves Review.
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Half of world's rare antelope population died within weeks

The Guardian - Wed, 2015-11-04 02:06

Scientists are struggling to explain the mass die-off of at least 150,000 endangered saiga antelopes in Kazakhstan earlier this year

More than half of the world’s population of an endangered antelope died within two weeks earlier this year, in a phenomenon that scientists are unable to explain.

Related: Kazakhstan's mass antelope deaths mystify conservationists

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Delhi's air pollution is causing a health crisis. So, what can be done?

The Guardian - Tue, 2015-11-03 19:00

The city’s toxic air has been linked to allergies, respiratory conditions, birth malformations and increasing incidence of cancers. But as a recent car-free experiment showed, action to cut pollution can be effective

For a few hours one morning two weeks ago, private cars were banned from driving into the heart of old Delhi. It was hard to tell at the messy road junction in front of the historic Red Fort and the shopping street of Chandni Chowk, though, which was still crammed with auto-rickshaws and buses barrelling along the roads with seemingly little regard for any traffic rules.

But Delhi’s so-called “car-free day” experiment was nevertheless a success: scientists monitoring the air here, routinely one of Delhi’s most polluted areas, found a dramatic 60% drop in the amount of dangerous pollutants – the tiniest particles that come out of traffic exhausts and which can exacerbate health problems such as asthma, heart disease and stroke – compared to the previous day.

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Victorian PQ Aquatics Fishery - application 2015

Department of the Environment - Tue, 2015-11-03 15:49
Application on ecological sustainability - public comments open from 5 November 2015 until 4 December 2015
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Commonwealth On-Farm Further Irrigation Efficiency Program

Department of the Environment - Tue, 2015-11-03 13:51
The Australian Government is establishing a new program to assist irrigators modernise their on-farm irrigation infrastructure and return the resulting water savings to the environment. Public comments on program design are open until 11 December.
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With 90% of the UK’s ash trees about to be wiped out, could GM be the answer?

The Guardian - Sun, 2015-11-01 07:30
Scientists have proposed a radical solution to help trees develop resistance to ash dieback. But critics fear there could be unpredictable effects

Genetically modified ash trees could replace the 80 million expected to die in the next 20 years from a deadly fungus, scientists have proposed.

The radical solution to the greatest woodland disaster of the last 50 years is being explored by research teams at London and Oxford universities with backing from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, science bodies and the Forestry Commission.

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Flowers bloom in the Atacama desert – in pictures

The Guardian - Sat, 2015-10-31 03:42

The Atacama desert is experiencing a rare springtime bloom of flowers after El Niño brought the heaviest rainfall in two decades earlier this year. The desert is usually one of the driest places on Earth. Flowers normally bloom every five to seven years but this year’s showing has been one of the most spectacular

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Water too warm for cod in US Gulf of Maine as stocks near collapse

The Guardian - Fri, 2015-10-30 08:40

Waters in the north-west Atlantic have warmed 99% faster than the rest of the world’s oceans in the past decade due to changes in the Gulf Stream and Pacific

A rapid warming of the Gulf of Maine off the eastern United States has made the water too warm for cod, pushing stocks towards collapse despite deep reductions in the number of fish caught, a US study has shown.

Related: Maine lobster and Cape cod under threat from rapidly warming seas

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Kathy Scarborough - KESAB

Kathy Scarborough:
Project Officer and Audits Manager at KESAB Environmental Solutions 

Kathy joined KESAB in 2003 as a causal teacher in their education centre at Statewide Recycling and became full time in 2008 as a waste educator for council contracts and their Wipe Out Waste school audit program. Her current role is as a Waste Audit Manager working with business, industry and council kerbside collections.

Keep South Australia Beautiful (KESAB) Environmental Solutions was originally founded in 1966 to be a leader in the development of sustainable communities through education, action and participation. They are South Australia's leading not-for-profit organization, working through partnerships with governments, industry, businesses and communities to encourage innovation and change in the realm of waste.

Cast: AdelaideSBN

Tags: Recycling, Behaviour Change and Waste Seperation

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Robbie Westley - Replas SA

Robbie Westley:
Director of Replas SA

Robbie has been in the recycling industry for 10 years. With a previous background in marketing and sales and the former Director of Awesome Waste Solutions, Robbie currently functions as Director of Recycled Works, trading as Replas SA.  He is passionate about the environment and what we can do to make a difference.

Committed to reducing the amount of plastic waste going to landfill, Replas specialise in the collection and reuse of household plastics to create new products for the built environment. The focus in on creating a sustainable life cycle for what is an often derided material in circles of sustainability. Through reducing landfill and the need for additional resources, Replas have given a new life to plastics as an environmentally friendly material.

Cast: AdelaideSBN

Tags: Recycling, Waste Recovery and Landfill Diversion

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Reef Trust Gully Erosion Control Programme now open

Department of the Environment - Thu, 2015-10-29 14:08
The call for applications for funding through the Reef Trust Gully Erosion Control programme is now open. Applications close 26 November 2015
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Neonicotinoids: new warning on pesticide harm to bees

The Guardian - Wed, 2015-10-28 16:01

Consensus builds among scientists though review of evidence also finds there is not enough data on whether pesticide causes population decline

There is a strong scientific consensus that bees are exposed to neonicotinoid pesticides in fields and suffer harm from the doses received, according to a new analysis of the all the scientific evidence to date.

But almost no data exists so far on whether this harm ultimately leads to falls in overall bee populations, the scientists found. They said one “gold standard” field study from Sweden had shown that the insecticides, the most widely used in the world, do significantly damage bumblebee populations. But it found no effect for honeybees, although the study design meant it could only rule out losses greater than 20%.

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Atriplex sp. Yeelirrie Station (L. Trotter & A. Douglas LCH 25025) listed as Endangered category under the EPBC Act

Department of the Environment - Tue, 2015-10-27 11:05
The Minister has approved the inclusion of Atriplex sp. Yeelirrie Station (L. Trotter and A. Douglas LCH 25025) (a saltbush) in the Endangered category under the EPBC Act effective 22 October 2015.
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Extreme heatwaves could push Gulf climate beyond human endurance, study shows

The Guardian - Tue, 2015-10-27 02:00

Oil heartlands of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha and Iran’s coast will experience higher temperatures and humidity than ever before on Earth if the world fails to cut carbon emissions

The Gulf in the Middle East, the heartland of the global oil industry, will suffer heatwaves beyond the limit of human survival if climate change is unchecked, according to a new scientific study.

The extreme heatwaves will affect Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha and coastal cities in Iran as well as posing a deadly threat to millions of Hajj pilgrims in Saudi Arabia, when the religious festival falls in the summer. The study shows the extreme heatwaves, more intense than anything ever experienced on Earth, would kick in after 2070 and that the hottest days of today would by then be a near-daily occurrence.

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Indonesia's forest fires threaten a third of world's wild orangutans

The Guardian - Mon, 2015-10-26 23:05

Fires have spread beyond plantations deep into primary forests and national parks, the last strongholds of the endangered apes

Raging Indonesian forest fires have advanced into dense forest on Borneo and now threaten one third of the world’s remaining wild orangutans, say conservationists.

Satellite photography shows that around 100,000 fires have burned in Indonesia’s carbon-rich peatlands since July. But instead of being mostly confined to farmland and plantations, as they are in most years, several thousand fires have now penetrated deep into primary forests and national parks, the strongholds of the remaining wild apes and other endangered animals.

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Morocco poised to become a solar superpower with launch of desert mega-project

The Guardian - Mon, 2015-10-26 17:58

World’s largest concentrated solar power plant, powered by the Saharan sun, set to help renewables provide almost half the country’s energy by 2020

The Moroccan city of Ouarzazate is used to big productions. On the edge of the Sahara desert and the centre of the north African country’s “Ouallywood” film industry it has played host to big-budget location shots in Lawrence of Arabia, The Mummy, The Living Daylights and even Game of Thrones.

Now the trading city, nicknamed the “door of the desert”, is the centre for another blockbuster – a complex of four linked solar mega-plants that, alongside hydro and wind, will help provide nearly half of Morocco’s electricity from renewables by 2020 with, it is hoped, some spare to export to Europe. The project is a key plank in Morocco’s ambitions to use its untapped deserts to become a global solar superpower.

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Cluster of 20 great white sharks spotted off coast of northern California

The Guardian - Sun, 2015-10-25 05:00
  • Sharks, ranging from 15ft to 18ft, seen 100 yards offshore near Pacifica
  • Two coast guard helicopters spotted the sharks from 500ft last week

Experts say a cluster of some 20 great white sharks was recently spotted by the US coast guard off the coast of northern California.

Related: Giant squid writ small: juvenile monsters of the deep captured off Japan

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Giant squid writ small: juvenile monsters of the deep captured off Japan

The Guardian - Sun, 2015-10-25 01:12

Three young squid caught by marine biologists are the spitting image of their gigantic parents – if nearly 1,000lbs and 50ft smaller

Marine biologists have captured three young giant squid, Japanese researchers reported, in what would be the first confirmed catch of very young juveniles of the elusive creature.

The young squid, caught off south-western Japan, are replicas of their gigantic parents who live in the deep. Two were caught together; all three weighed less than 1lb and spanned 5-13ins. Adults can reach 50ft and 1,000lbs.

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Yorkshire dales and Lake District to be extended

The Guardian - Fri, 2015-10-23 21:00

Announcement to create largest area of national park land in England welcomed by campaigners after two-year wait for decision

Two of England’s most celebrated national parks, the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District, are being extended, the government has announced.

The Yorkshire Dales national park will expand by almost 24% and the Lake District national park by 3%, creating a large and almost continuous protected area in north-west England.

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Spate of snake attacks strikes Melbourne's cats and dogs

The Guardian - Fri, 2015-10-23 13:07

Animal hospital reports sharp rise in bites from tiger and brown snakes as reptiles emerge from winter hibernation to exceptionally warm weather

The Victorian government has warned people to be aware of snake activity after a spate of recent incidents in which dogs and cats have been bitten by the reptiles.

Related: Thirsty snakes slither into Australian toilets as dry season bites

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