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Where would Confucius place the balance between environmental conservation and economic development today? Kevinsmithnyc

Confucian thought and China’s environmental dilemmas

Conventional wisdom holds that China - the world’s most populous country - is an inveterate polluter, that it puts economic goals above conservation in every instance. So China’s recent moves toward an…
Energy supply including nuclear is the best way to fight climate change and conserve wildlife and ecosystems. James Marvin Phelps/Flickr

It’s time for environmentalists to give nuclear a fair go

Should nuclear energy be part of Australia’s (and many other countries') future energy mix? We think so, particularly as part of a solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prevent dangerous climate…
Shifting water around helped Rome’s rise – and fall. Dan McKay

What did the Romans ever do for us? They left a water warning

As all good Monty Python fans know, water technologies feature large in the legacy of benefits left by Roman civilisation. But while aqueducts, sewers and baths retain an obvious presence in the landscape…
One of the hottest topics for the upcoming election is a new forest national park to protect the critically endangered Leadbeater’s Possum, Victoria’s faunal emblem. Greens MPs/Flickr

Victorians short-changed on environmental policy

Less than a week out from Victoria’s state election, both major parties have been largely silent on environmental policy. Neither the Coalition nor Labor has released comprehensive documents. It also seems…
Kakadu National Park is Australia’s largest – but we need to make sure parks are actually protecting wildlife from threats. Rita Willaert/Flickr

We have more parks than ever, so why is wildlife still vanishing?

While we can never know for sure, an extraordinary number of animals and plants are threatened with extinction — up to a third of all mammals and over a tenth of all birds. And the problem is getting worse…
Across California there are plenty of signs of just how dry it’s been, such as here in Topanga Canyon near Los Angeles. wasim muklashy/Flickr via CC BY-NC-SA

California’s severe drought shows why we need to raise the price of water

Last January, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a State of Emergency following projections of severe drought. State bureaucrats and local officials jumped into action and mandated any number of…
Canary grass is an invasive plant, but new varieties are still being developed for pasture. Stuart Hay

Feed or weed? New pastures are sowing problems for the future

Weeds cost Australian farmers around A$4 billion every year — and they are likely to do a similar amount of damage to the environment. In a new global survey published this week in Proceedings of the National…
The quoll, one of the mammal species that calls Kakadu home. Jonathan Webb/supplied

Too good to lose: how to reverse the species declines at Kakadu

Kakadu National Park in Australia’s tropical north is one of the world’s premier conservation reserves. However, it is partly failing in one of its principal purposes. The past two to three decades have…
Zoos provide succor for species having a tough time of it in the wild. B. A. Minteer

Can zoos save the world?

Today, many zoos promote the protection of biodiversity as a significant part of their mission. As conservation “arks” for endangered species and, increasingly, as leaders in field conservation projects…
Where the rainforest meets the plantation: there are probably a lot more insects. Ryan Woo for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

Palm oil plantations are bad for wildlife great and small: study

Palm oil plantations have an overall negative impact on biodiversity, according to research released this week. The study, published in Nature Communications, found palm oil plantations are home to fewer…
Many threats – the lower paintings at this site at Malarrak in Arnhem Land are being removed by feral animals rubbing against the wall. Paul Tacon

Australian rock art is threatened by a lack of conservation

Australian rock art is under threat from both natural and cultural forces impacting on sites. But what saddens me the most is that there is so much government lethargy in Australia when it comes to documenting…
Australia’s Commonwealth marine parks were designed to protect marine life, including important foraging areas for sea birds.

Marine park review looks set to repeat past mistakes

In June 2012 the Labor government announced the “world’s largest” system of marine parks, adding 2.3 million square kilometres and taking the overall size of Australia’s Commonwealth marine reserves to…
People are becoming more aware of the wold’s biodiversity, but the crisis continues. Chris Ford/Flickr

World failing to meet biodiversity targets: study

Globally, biodiversity is in trouble, and new research shows that the situation is unlikely to improve over the next five…
Going, going, gone: wildlife like the loris are disappearing. N. A. Naseer

Five ways to stop the world’s wildlife vanishing

Full marks to colleagues at the World Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of London for the Living Planet Report 2014 and its headline message which one hopes ought to shock the world out of its complacency…
Some people think that dingo control programs are harming Australia’s native wildlife. New research suggests this isn’t the case. Benjamin Allen

Dingo control doesn’t hurt native wildlife: largest Australian study

Does dingo control harm Australia’s environment? Results from the largest Australian experiment on dingoes – published this week in Frontiers in Zoology – shows the answer to that question is a convincing…
The forest is home to animals, birds, plants, and tourist trains. EPA

How to save Brazil’s Atlantic forest on a shoe string

Brazil’s Atlantic forest – Mata Atlântica – is one of the world’s great biodiversity hotspots, rivalling even the Amazon. Running on and off for several thousand kilometres along the coast, the forest…
Most new roads will be built in developing nations. Here, a road-killed tapir in Peninsula Malaysia. © WWF-Malaysia/Lau Ching Fong

Global ‘roadmap’ shows where to put roads without costing the earth

“The best thing you could do for the Amazon is to blow up all the roads.” These might sound like the words of an eco-terrorist, but it’s actually a direct quote from Professor Eneas Salati, a forest climatologist…

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