The country of Australia contains some of the worlds greatest natural treasures, scattered across its nearly 3 million square miles of space. Many people around the world have heard of the Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral barrier reef in the world. The Great Barrier Reef contains 2,900 individual reefs which are host to hundreds of species of coral, fish, and marine wildlife, making it one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world.
(Source: Paul D’Ambra)
You’ve likely also heard of the rugged Australian outback. While at a glance the outback may appear devoid of life, it is home to many animals ranging from kangaroos to huge flocks of birds to feral camels.
(Source: Georgie Sharp)
Australia also contains many other lesser-known but important natural areas, including Fraser Island, the Gondwana Rainforests, the Tasmanian Wilderness, and the Ningaloo Coast.
Minimizing Australia’s Impact on the Environment
Careful environmental policies and actions are essential for these natural treasures and the rest of Australia to be healthy for the next generations. What actions are already being taken, and what additional steps can be taken? Let’s highlight just a few ways to minimize negative impacts on Australia’s environment.
The first step to making positive change is almost always getting a people to agree that change is needed. The good news for Australia is that most people agree that these issues need to be tackled. A 2007/2008 survey showed that about three-quarters of Australians are concerned about climate change and protecting the environment.
Reducing Energy Use
Decreasing energy use and switching to energy sources that have a lower environmental impact are important steps to protecting the environment. The same survey linked above also found that over 80% of Australians have already taken steps to reduce their personal energy usage. There is still a lot of room for many people to reduce their energy usage. Use the energy savings calculations in this electricity saving guide to find the highest impact changes you can make to reduce energy usage.
Reducing Water Pollution
Reducing pollution of lakes, rivers, and the ocean is critical for maintaining water purity, protecting animal life, and preserving coral reefs. According to a 2013 study, “each square kilometre of Australian sea surface water is contaminated by around 4,000 pieces of tiny plastics.” The health of an astounding diversity of wildlife is at stake:
“Australia’s marine environment is home to 4000 fish species, 500 coral species in the northern reefs alone, 50 types of marine mammal and a wide range of seabirds.” –Australia’s environment at a glance
Cutting back on emissions means cleaner air, which provides a healthier environment for plants, animals and humans. The Emissions Reduction Fund has a stated goal of “reducing emissions by five per cent below 2000 levels by 2020.”
(Source: Matt Francey)
Let’s work to preserve Australia’s natural beauty for future generations!