Ecos

A bimonthly scholarly journal that publishes research and issues of sustainability in the environment, industry and community. Focused on Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

Articles from No. 118, January-March

A Bigger Picture of Disturbance: Unique, Simultaneous Studies Different Australian Landscapes Have Thrown Up Some Real Surprises about Biodiversity Conservation in Disturbed Areas-Particularly Plantations
Graeme O'Neill reports on David Lindenmayer's long range work to forge a new understanding of ecological priorities. Australia's pine plantations are supposedly biological deserts, inhospitable to native mammals and birds. But it seems species like...
A Bold Blueprint: Steve Davidson Reviews Western Australia's Ambitious, Timely, and Leading State Sustainability Strategy
Western Australia may be behind the eastern States in terms of time, but the WA Government has stolen the march when it comes to sustainability policy. In September 2003, the Government formally and fully committed Western Australians to a sustainable...
A Heap of Great Returns: An Australian Innovator and Determined Entrepreneur Is Taking on One of the Globe's Confounding Environmental Challenges: Used Tyres. His Unique and Innovative Processing technologY Transforms Tyres into Their Component Parts, Producing Jet Fuel, Carbon for Diamonds and Other Commodities That Can Be Reused in an Encouraging Array of Value-Added Products
Australians' love affair with the car contributes more than 18 million used tyres (170 000 tonnes) every year to the annual global stockpile of 1.2 billion tyres. It's a well-documented phenomenon; across the world, mountains of rubber are blacking...
A Recycling Renaissance?
After several years of foundering, responsible recycling is becoming financially attractive again. Internationally, positive shifts are occurring towards the mounting global waste problem. In a world of shrinking space and resources, rubbish may...
Bacteria Help Wattles 'Re-Green' Australia
Re-planting areas cleared of native vegetation is difficult and time consuming, but it is vital to combating salinity and the loss of biodiversity on farms. A CSIRO Plant Industry team has found that a soil bacterium called Bradyrhizobium can significantly...
Costing Mother Nature's Service: The Central Role of Healthy Ecosystems in Providing Critical Services Has Been, until Very Recently, Overlooked and Often Taken for Granted
When we bite into a juicy apple, we might think of soil and water but probably not of the natural pollinators that fertilise the flower so the fruit can set. When we think of clean water, we may not think beyond the tap, but the real source of the...
Driving a Revolution in the Paddock: The Environmental and Productivity Benefits of Precision Driving Are Converting Australian and International Farmers to a Technique Called Controlled Traffic Farming
Gargantuan harvesters and other modern machinery used on today's grain, cotton and sugar farms can weigh up to a massive 20 tonnes. Their considerable crushing pressure, exerted by multiple wheels, has a severe deteriorating effect on soil quality,...
Eco Standards Pay off for Fuji Xerox
Fuji Xerox Australia's Mascot warehouse and Eco-Manufacturing Centre saved a massive $27 million last year by remanufacturing and repairing parts used in its hardware products. The company has begun uncovering the significant benefits of a commitment...
Greener Buildings at the Touch of a Button
Australian expertise in IT and software, environmental science, and design science has combined to produce a world-first tool that looks set lead the burgeoning sustainable construction industry. Dubbed the 'green calculator', and developed at the...
Koalas Are Losing out to Traffic
While Australia's most popular national symbol, the koala, is still a relatively 'common', vulnerable populations living in expanding urban areas are under an increasing threat: traffic. Roaming koalas are suffering alarmingly high road mortality....
Out, and about Practical Changes
2004 is well underway, and has, it feels, begun optimistically for Australia. The timing seems perfect and opportune for the Nation to take some bigger, bolder, practical strides towards the beginnings of a fundamental framework for sustainable progress...
People Power Is Working for the Landscape
A historic farming property in Victoria's Gippsland region has become the focus of a unique community 'living lab' partnership between landowners, scientists and the government, who are working together to understand and restore the area's natural...
Plants Could Give the Us the Good Oil
An innovative new project, established under CSIRO's Food Futures flagship program, plans to tap into Australia's existing crop production systems to produce large and sustainable quantities of key fish oils for human consumption and aquaculture. ...
Reshaping the Future of Cities: Unless Significant Changes Are Made to the Way We Shape and Build Our Cities, the 21st Century Looks Bleak for Australia. This Is the Sharp Outlook of Reshaping Cities for a More Sustainable Future, a CSIRO Study That Explored the Integral Links between Urban Form, Energy and Air Quality
It's estimated that 88% of the world's population growth this century will be in urban areas, and Australia's cities are set to be a strong case in point. If, however, our cities continue to expand as the current laissez-faire urban sprawl, the study...
The Great Dingo Dilution: Australia's Only Wild Dog, the Iconic Dingo, Has Survived a Couple of Hundred Years of Persecution-From Shooting, Trapping and Poisoning. Ironically, It Is Now at Grave Risk of Disappearing. the Greatest Threat Isn't So Much Over-Hunting or the Usual Culprit, Habitat Destruction; It's the Friendly Domestic Dog
The true-blue dingo is quietly becoming invisible. Its native gene pool has been slowly but surely diluting through 'hybridisation' or inter-breeding between feral dogs and wild dingoes (Canis lupus dingo). Sadly--or not, it is now difficult to find...
Thinking Urged on the Free Trade Agreement's Environmental Impact
A study into the possible environmental impacts of the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement predicted significant effects from the large expected increases agricultural production and transport, but has, more importantly, drawn attention to the need for...
Waste Plastic to Clean Fuel
An innovative solution, pioneered and commercialised in Japan, could help Australia reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the coal loads required by the iron and steel industries. Waste plastic will be used as a fuel in blast furnaces at ironworks, rather...