Australians shocked by environmental report
07/21/2022, 4:44 PM (Updated)
Climate change, pollution and deforestation are putting Australian nature under enormous pressure. A paper released by the Ministry of the Environment now shows the extent of the devastation: The country’s biodiversity is rapidly dwindling, and more and more animals are endangered.
The number of endangered species in Australia has increased by eight percent in the past five years. In addition, pressure on all ecosystems in the country is increasing due to climate change. These are some of the dramatic findings of the State of the Environment 2021 report. The five-year assessment is published by the Ministry of Environment. Commentators and media outlets Down Under described the results as “appalling” and spoke of a “catastrophic loss of wildlife and habitat”.
Over 30 experts collected data for two years. It covers every aspect of Australia’s environment, from rivers and oceans to air and ice, and rural and urban areas. The University of Sydney commented that reading the latest report was “factual”.
Since its colonization in 1788, 39 species of mammals have become extinct on the red continent — more than any other continent, according to researchers. At the same time, 80 percent of the country’s nearly 400 species of mammals live only in Australia, including koalas, wombats and the white platypus. She said that since the last report was published in 2016, 17 mammal species, 17 bird species and 19 frog species have been listed as threatened or are now classified as “critically endangered.” Overall, the number of endangered animal and plant species has increased from 1774 to 1918 in the past five years.
One of the main reasons is the loss of natural habitat. According to the report, about 7.7 million hectares of land was cleared in Australia between 2000 and 2017. But also Devastating wildfires 2019-2020 It deeply affected the animal world.
“Overall, the state and development of Australia’s environment is poor and continues to deteriorate due to increasing pressures from climate change, habitat loss, invasive species, pollution and resource extraction,” the report says. This has a negative impact not only on people’s health, but also on their standard of living and their cultural and spiritual fulfillment.
conservative Scott Morrison’s previous governmentWhich has been heavily criticized for its negative stance on environmental policy, it actually received the report in December 2021 but withheld it due to the general election in May. On the other hand, Anthony Albanese’s new government has made combating climate change a major item on its agenda. Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek said the report reflected “more than a decade of willful inaction and ignorance”.
(This article was first published on Tuesday, July 19, 2022.)