[ASC-media] CSIRO: Time for a sea change in coastal development

Rebecca.Eveleigh at csiro.au Rebecca.Eveleigh at csiro.au
Wed Dec 19 00:55:46 CET 2007


19 December 2007

Ref: 07/252

ECOS: Australia's magazine on sustainability. Issue 140

Time for a sea change in coastal development

Ecos 140 looks at the future of a remote and pristine stretch of the
South Australian coastline that has become the focus of intense debate
between local environment groups, developers and government. The case
reflects the intensifying pressure on Australia's coastal habitats as
developments follow the quest for sea-side properties.

Corvisart, Sceale, Searcy and Baird Bays on the western Eyre Peninsula,
700 km west of Adelaide, are home to endangered osprey and white-bellied
sea eagle populations, one of the world's smallest sea-stars and a
breeding sea-lion colony discovered in 2002.

There are growing pressures at local government level to approve
development in environmentally sensitive areas in the region - such as
houses in zones adjacent to the high limestone cliffs that harbour
osprey nests. 

A local conservation group has doggedly lobbied the SA Government and
other authorities to help stop inappropriate development overriding
recommendations. They are calling for legislative tightening and a more
robust management plan for the 100-kilometre-long 'Chain of Bays' to
protect the region's unique environment.

The smarter energy future

Energy efficiency savings are the quickest, easiest and most effective
way to reduce carbon emissions. Ecos looks at the contribution energy
efficiency could make in reducing Australia's base-load electricity
demand - a demand currently met by coal-fired power stations - as well
as the capability of renewables and distributed systems to deliver
base-load supply. Economic modelling has shown that implementing energy
efficiency opportunities in Australia will also increase GDP, create
thousands of new jobs and delay for decades the need to build new,
capital-intensive power infrastructure. 

Land-minders 

With only 10 per cent of the continent protected in conservation
reserves, much of the responsibility for conservation of biodiversity
and habitat rests on the shoulders of private landholders. Following the
Federal Government's announcement earlier this year of a $50 million
Environmental Stewardship Programme for landholders, Ecos investigates
how land stewardship programs work and how they are being integrated
into continental-scale habitat corridor programs that re-connect
scattered pockets of remnant bushland, enabling rare and endangered
wildlife species to move between their shrinking refuges.

Other stories in issue 140 include:

- Youth-powered post-tsunami recovery: A local 'Youth Leverage' program
set up in 2005 is enabling remote southern Thai villages to recover from
the impact of the 2004 tsunami. University post-graduates travel to
villages to train young people in researching and setting up projects
such as securing food supplies and identifying income-generating
opportunities.

- Guide to carbon credits: While paying for tree-planting or buying
renewable energy credits has become a popular way for people and
organisations to offset carbon emissions, not all carbon offset options
are the same, as Ecos 140 explains.

- Wider perspective on whales: A team from the Australian Antarctic
Division are using piloted aircraft to survey minke whales off the
Antarctic coastline to set sustainable catch limits. Meanwhile, off
Queensland's coast researchers are trialling unmanned drones for
surveying of dugongs and humpback whales. 

- Ferals in Kakadu: Ridding Kakadu National Park of feral animals is no
easy matter - some such as swamp buffalo have become a food source for
indigenous communities living inside the park. Buffalo numbers are on
the rise but effective control will require consultation and a sustained
effort.

ECOS magazine - Issue 140 is available at major national newsagents or
at www.publish.csiro.au/ecos

Image available at:
http://www.scienceimage.csiro.au/mediarelease/mr07-252.html
 
Media Assistance:

James Porteous, Managing Editor ECOS
03 9662 7604; 0403 825 325; james.porteous at csiro.au

www.csiro.au

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Beck Eveleigh
Media Assistant
CSIRO Media Liaison
6276 6451
0409 395 010
 




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