Monday, February 4, 2013

Save the Kimberley

(Photo Source: Link)
With the natural beauty of The Kimberley region, one would wonder why this picture perfect region is under threat.

 Celebrities such as Missy Higgins & John Butler, have joined the protests to save this region.

Photo source Link
Just what is at stake you ask? Why all the fuss? There is plenty at stake, not only is this area home to many species of flora and fauna, but it also has many area of significance to the indigenous people of Australia. The Enviroment, a Culture and History are at stake.

Check out What is at stake for the Enviroment of the Kimberley region
In the Central Kimberley, under WA State legislation, 2 plant species, 3 mammals, 2 birds and 5 reptiles are declared as vulnerable, 1 bird and 1 reptile are declared as endangered, 42 plants are listed as either priority one or priority two, and 1 plant and 2 mammals are declared rare. The Commonwealth lists 2 birds and 2 turtles as endangered, and 3 birds, 4 turtles and 3 mammals as vulnerable.
In the Northern Kimberley, under WA State legislation, 1 bird and 2 mammals are listed as Endangered, 2 birds declared as Vulnerable, one mammal and one plant are declared rare and 16 plants as either priority one or priority two. One bird is listed as endangered and three birds vulnerable by the Commonwealth.
The threatening processes for individual vertebrates are poorly understood or unknown, although changed fire regime is considered to be the main threatening process for the Gouldian finch. The trend in the condition of all species is mostly unknown, as are threatening processes for the plants. 

For the culture and history prospective check out :this link 
Today, more than 30 Aboriginal tribes remain in the Kimberley region, each with its own language and many with unique cultural practices. Nobody owns culture. It is loaned to each generation to preserve and pass on to the next generation. Our culture and traditions tie us to this country and we are obliged by our ancestors to see that it continues. We are obliged by respect of country and the hope for a proper life for our children that we honour the culture and traditions of our people.

A home to the world’s most ancient continuous culture

The Bradshaw Paintings, or gwion gwion, are thought to date back to at least 17,000 years ago. These elegant images have been interpreted as indicating that a vibrant culture had already been long in place¹. There are also indications of Aboriginal habitation of the Dampier Peninsula region dating back 28,000 years² and 40,000 years or more elsewhere in the Kimberley.


Sustainable living in the Kimberley

In the past, we lived in harmony with nature by observing its laws and working with those laws. In a world of modernity Indigenous people are just now making real the promise of building a connection with modern life, our ancient culture and the country which gives us everything.

We are building sustainable industries, like eco-tourism, cultural tourism, selling and promoting our art and artifacts and harvesting Gubinge fruit. These industries bring us pride, meaning and purpose. They are building an economy which fosters respect of the land and culture and show us a way forward in friendship with white Australia which also honours our past and obligations to our ancestors.

Heavy industrial development threatens all of this. It threatens to directly damage country, our sacred sites and special songlines. The infrastructure which it brings will open the land to further destructive developments and an erosion of country and culture; an erosion of us.
It’s difficult to see how this use of country can be made in any way compatible with the past, present or future of the Traditional Owners of the Kimberley.

So what is happening now? 
In January 2013 Woodside was granted permission to disturb sacred sites.  (Link )
THE West Australian government has sparked immediate protests after granting resources giant Woodside the right to disturb Aboriginal sacred sites as part of the proposed $40 billion James Price Point gas hub near Broome.
Locals, environmentalists and Australian Greens leader Christine Milne have all condemned the granting of Woodside's application under the state's Aboriginal Heritage Act, which allows work in sand dunes at Walmadany.

The EPA chairman has voiced his concerns that this could be an enviromental disaster.
Environmental Protection Authority chairman Paul Vogel said lifting pollution conditions on the $40 billion Kimberley gas hub could lead to worse environmental outcomes. (link ) 
Save the Kimberley Movies

How you can help

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Floating Island ...of Rubbish

(Photo Source: Link)
So You want to go on a nice vacation, would this take your fancy?

What is this place you ask? It is a Floating Island of Trash it is also known as the Great  Pacific Garbage Patch.  It may not be your ideal holiday spot, but this exists.
(photo Source: link)
Covering an area the size of Texas, this floating landfill doubles in size every 10 years and kills countless birds and sea life that get tangled in the debris or mistake its contents for food.  It’s a very vivid reminder to humans that this is a not a problem that is going to simply disappear.
Plastic is the main culprit behind it all.
The very thing that makes plastic items useful to consumers, their durability and stability, also makes them an enormous problem in marine environments. Plastic does not break down so it stays there in the gyre, permanently.
Of the approximately 100 million tonnes of plastic that are produced each year, about 10 per cent of which ends up in the sea.
And up until a couple of years ago, this was a little known phenonomen, conveniently hidden away in a remote corner of the ocean.  (Source Link)

 Check out Trash Vortex for more info on this Issue.
Other places to get information are:
This Page
This Article

Latest Information I have read suggests this island will now be tested to see if the contents can be recycled.

 Meanwhile, the international Project Kaisei team also recently spent time in the garbage patch, studying its contents in hopes of eventually recycling them or turning them into fuel. And "adventure ecologist" David de Rothschild is pushing on with plans to sail around the garbage patch in a boat made entirely of recycled plastics, taking a test voyage earlier this month after a long delay due to construction trouble. Called "Plastiki," the ship is intended to highlight the connection between plastic trash on land and plastic trash at sea — an increasingly evident link, thanks not only to media attention for the Pacific patch, but also the recent discovery of a similar patch in the North Atlantic. (Source Link)

What Can You do to help this situation?
Use Biodegradable Plastics (check out this link on if they are better for the enviroment)
Recycle (Info on why you should Recycle and what you can recycle )