Kookaburra after a bushfire, Wallabi Point, NSW © Adam Stevenson

Kookaburra after a bushfire, Wallabi Point, NSW © Adam Stevenson

5 ways we can improve our State of the Environment

01 Aug 2022

Keywords
  • bushfire
  • land management
  • biodiversity
  • climate change
  • threatened species
  • Regenerate Australia
Australia is home to some of the world’s most beautiful nature, and iconic wildlife found anywhere on this planet.

We have towering eucalypt forests, home to animals, including koalas and greater gliders. Intricate river systems, where platypus hide. Rugged ranges and red earth, where wallabies bounce. And then there are our magnificent beaches and seascapes, where marine turtles nest and whales make their annual migration.

It’s hard to picture living in an Australia without our beautiful natural landscapes and iconic wildlife. But the latest State of the Environment report published last month has revealed a sobering reality - the future of Australia’s wildlife and wild places hangs in the balance.

What did the report reveal?
The Australian Government publishes a State of the Environment report every five years, providing a scientific snapshot of Australia’s environment across 12 topics. Indigenous voices were featured prominently in the report for the first time, managed by Indigenous lead author Dr Terri Janke, a Wuthathi/Meriam lawyer.

The bad news:
Since the last report released in 2016, Australia has experienced catastrophic bushfires, record-breaking temperatures, multiple flood events and repeated mass bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef.

Not only that, but more than 1,700 Australian animals and plants are now at risk of extinction. We’ve seen the uplisting of iconic wildlife - just this year, both the koala and greater glider have been listed as Endangered, recognising that they’re one step closer to extinction.

When we allow so much loss at this scale, we don’t just lose iconic Australian animals. We lose the opportunity to ensure a healthy, thriving economy alongside some of the world’s most precious natural assets.

The good news:
One of the report's rare standout success stories is about Indigenous rangers. This vital group of First Nations conservation leaders care for more than 44% of nationally protected natural areas.

The report highlighted the many benefits of supporting Indigenous ranger programs, as an estimated 60% of threatened species exist on land managed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Indigenous ranger programs also received much-deserved recognition for delivering positive social and economic outcomes for the community.

What does this mean for the environment?
This report sends a very clear signal - Australia’s environment is in trouble. The wildlife and wild places that we treasure need us now. Moving forward, we must listen to Indigenous conservation voices and nature more intently than ever.

WWF-Australia has been working hard, boots-on-the-ground, with partners, to restore what was lost during the recent climate disasters and to future-proof our country. But it’s evident that we can’t slow down and need to do more.

We must make sure our new government has a plan and commits to doing better when it comes to protecting our environment.

We’ve created a Blueprint to Regenerate Australia: a plan for our federal government and elected representatives that consists of 10 things they must do to ensure we get the best outcomes for people and nature.

But we need the help of our supporters to keep the government on track.

How can you help?
Here are five things you can do right now to protect Australia’s nature:

Sign up to Regenerate Australia for updates on how you can help us.
Plant native trees and shrubs to attract wildlife.
Share our Blueprint to Regenerate Australia and tag key politicians.
Make a donation to help us protect our iconic wildlife.
• Write to your local MP demanding urgent action.

With your support, we can create a better and more sustainable future for people and nature. Get involved today and make a difference to protect our wildlife and wild places.

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