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All hands on deck: State of the Environment reveals need for national movement

07 July 2022

All hands on deck: State of the Environment reveals need for national movement

07 July 2022

Australia’s environment is in crisis and the need for widespread action from all sectors is urgent.

Earthwatch Australia welcomes the release of the 2021 State of Environment report and congratulates Minister Plibersek on her transparency and commitment to stronger environmental protections.

We look forward to working with the Minister to build a national movement that supports citizen scientists to take action on climate in partnership with communities, business, civil society and all levels of Government.

“We have been engaging communities and researchers for over forty years through citizen science and have deep experience in forging connections across diverse stakeholders.

As noted by Minister Plibersek, connecting business, government, communities and Indigenous groups is critical to addressing environmental issues. We need all hands on-deck. Earthwatch is championing this powerful collaboration on ground and in the board room,” said Fiona Sutton Wilson, CEO Earthwatch Australia. 

Earthwatch's contributor to the State of Environment report and wetlands scientist Jock Mackenzie is working with Dr Norm Duke of James Cook University to protect mangrove ecosystems, undertaking critical work to protect our coasts, identified as a declining ecosystem in the SoE report.

Together they are empowering citizens to monitor mangroves, conducting leading mangrove research, and working with Indigenous rangers to manage pollution and waste.

Their contributions to this report demonstrate that mangroves and wetlands are critical for marine industries, economy and society. Human impacts including pollution, altered hydrology, feral animals, weeds, and improper fire management are degrading these ecosystems. The report cites integrated management as a key part of the solution.

“We encourage community groups, Indigenous custodians and catchment management agencies to join us in monitoring and protecting mangrove shorelines. Through the MangroveWatch citizen science program and other techniques, we can collectively enhance targeted local mangrove management and threat reduction,” said Mr Mackenzie.

In combination with legislative reforms and conservation targets announced today by Minister Plibersek, citizen science driven action will create a more resilient Australia. 

“Empowering people to protect and restore nature has never been more important.

We welcome industry support and invite collaboration to address the most critical challenge of our lifetimes.The reportis a stark warning, but with nature-based solutions we can restore and protect our natural capital, andsecure the futures of all the communities that depend on a clean, healthy and diverse environment,” said Ms Sutton Wilson.