Home arrow Media/Publications arrow Media Releases arrow May 2001 Vol 8 No 3
May 2001 Vol 8 No 3

Environment South Australia

Blueprint for a Green & Prosperous SA:


Triple Bottom Line

Valuation, Clusters


Business SA

President's Message - Saving the Murray

In a panicky political climate, short-term jobs and votes are paramount. The simple mechanism of stopping the abuse seems not to be an option. Economic practice has always been to privatise profits gained from exploiting natural resources and later to socialise the costs. Indeed, the profits and costs are added together to calculate a GDP. GDPs, we now know, that have come in part at the cost of destroying the ecosystems that actually produced them.

'Environmental sustainability - a business imperative' by Bob Goreing

Governments can recognise the issues and intervene to the extent of their jurisdiction. But all governments are political in nature and parochial in expression.Most environmental issues are conundrums. The Murray for example is both a resource and a drain. Greenhouse emissions are a tax on the host and a gift for the trading partner.

'Guest Editorial' by Barbara Hardy

Our contributing authors have produced excellent articles which explore and describe many diverse aspects of this theme. President Margaret Bolster and I, with the help of Chris Nankivell, have tried to pull these articles into a fascinating and logical mosaic, and we will welcome comment and feedback from readers.

'…and God Created the Accountant…' by Kathy Gibson

"In the beginning God created the Heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep." Genesis 1:1,2

From that zero base, God built up a budget which was His master plan for the earth. Then He put His program into action.

'Marine Plan for Spencer Gulf' by By Hon. Iain Evans 

As a part of SeaWeek, the State Government has announced it will develop a pilot marine plan for Spencer Gulf in order to balance recreation and conservation in the area.

The Marine Plan will provide guidelines for decision-makers when using the Spencer Gulf. The main aim is to make sure activities such as shipping, fishing and aquaculture can co-exist with each other without causing damage in the long term to the marine environment.

'Environmental Valuation - Concepts, Techniques and Applications in SA'

By Andrew Lothian

Environmental valuation serves to value environmental goods and services in monetary terms so they can be considered in decision making and management.

We all know the environment has a value which is reflected, for example, in the high value of water-frontage property, the cost of visits to see spectacular scenery, the damaging cost of oil spills on wildlife and aquatic ecosystems, and the cost on users of salt in water. But not all of these values and costs are traded in the market place.

'New York City Watershed'

New York City has traditionally been famed for its clean water, which Consumer reports once ranked among the best in the Nation. New York's water, which originates in the Catskills Mountains, was once bottled and sold throughout the northeast. In recent years, the Catskills natural ecological purification system has been overwhelmed by sewage and agriculture runoff, and water quality has dropped below EPA standards.

'Water, Water Externalities, Trading & the Environment' by Mike Young

Water is valuable, and the development of water trading as a normal business activity is revealing this value. Today, permanent water entitlements in South Australia often sell for over $1,000 per ML. In fact, it is not uncommon for an irrigator to hold a water licence that can be sold for over $2 million. Today, many businesses, and the people who finance them, are finding that their most valuable asset is their right to periodically receive a water allocation.

'Valuing Wetlands' by Jeff Bennett

Wetlands are valuable resources for our society. They have long been valued as sites that can be drained for cropping, grazing or urban development. The water that fills fresh water wetlands has been sought after for irrigated agriculture. More recently, people have begun to recognise the value of wetlands as habitats for wildlife, as water 'filters' in river systems, as breeding sites for commercial fisheries and as places of natural beauty in which they can enjoy recreational activities.

'Ecosystem Services' by Steven Cork

The term 'ecosystem services' is becoming popular as a way to describe this biological underpinning of human life.

In today's world of previously undreamed of technological capabilities, many people think the only essential services are a computer and the Internet. It comes as a surprise to some that human wellbeing, economic prosperity, and even our very existence are underpinned by essential biological processes that occur only when suites of species interact with one another and with the non-living environment in what are called 'ecosystems'.

'Lost in the Trees' by Daniel Ganama

The numbers sounded impressive: over 7000 participants from 182 governments, 323 inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations, and 443 media outlets were in attendance. They all gathered for the World Climate Conference, or the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as it was called officially, held in The Hague, the Netherlands, from 13-25 November last year. The meeting aimed to set the operational details for commitments on reducing emissions of greenhouse gases under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. But in the end, the negotiators got lost in the trees.

'Climate Change - Costs Could Top $300 Billion Annually'

NAIROBI, Kenya, February 5, 2001

Munich Re, one of the world's largest re-insurance firms has published a new report estimating that losses due to more frequent tropical cyclones, loss of land as a result of rising sea levels and damage to fishing stocks, agriculture and water supplies, could annually cost an estimated $US304.2 billion.

'Carbon Credits, Transport, Sources & Sinks' by Henry O'Clery

One of the realities of the development of Carbon Credits is that it is being driven by monetary rather than environmental consideration. We hear that Wall Street expects that it will be the largest traded commodity in history!!

'Wind Energy Projects in SA' by Adam Johnstone

South Australians are relatively environmentally aware. Ask anyone in this state if they think we should be using more renewable energy, and the answer will nearly always be yes. When faced with the prospect of a local wind farm in their backyard, the reaction might not be so simple.

'Power of One' by Barbara Hardy

More than 25 years of great interest in solar energy, the use of which is now known to be vitally important in helping to guard against greenhouse gas emissions and global warming, motivated me to install a grid-connected solar hot water heater on my house at suburban Seacliff, South Australia.

'Reducing Household CO2 Emissions with Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy' by Monica Oliphant

Households contribute about 18 percent to Australia's non-transport carbon dioxide emissions. There is plenty of scope to reduce these emissions and it is not as difficult as may be thought.

Between 1994-1996 a joint project between ETSA Power (now AGL SA) and the South Australian Housing Trust (SAHT) looked at the impact of energy efficient appliances, solar water heaters and information feedback on energy use in small low-income households. 43 homes were involved, with all being, as near as possible, similar in design and orientation.

'Sustainable Minerals Industry - Contradiction or Conundrum?' by Elliot Dwyer

'Sustainability' and 'Globalisation' are terms we hear used more and more often. While they appear to be simple concepts, they are subject to protracted debate; and while that applies to most areas of natural resources use and economic development in the minerals industry, it is pertinent to ask: "Is mineral development (exploration, mining and refining) sustainable?"

'Wool - Exciting Progress' by Peter Michell

The team at Michell have been amazed that while there are many environmental outcomes from the vision, such as waste diversion from landfill, and reduction in contamination load to the marine environment, water conservation has become the common theme. Michell's vision of tomorrow is still being developed. Many obstacles are still to come, and we will wait with great interest to see what the next generation will create...

'The Greater Mount Lofty Parklands - Yurrebilla' by Department for Environment and Heritage

Environment Minister Iain Evans has announced a "second generation" of parklands for Adelaide. The Greater Mount Lofty Parklands &endash; Yurrebilla will bring together more than 40,000 hectares of open space linking the city, the suburbs, the coast and the hills of Adelaide.

'Blueprint for a Green & Sustainable SA - A Matter of Attitude' by Bill Anschütz

The demise of the MFP project was a lost opportunity for South Australia. The failure was not so much that it did not achieve very much but that it seemed incapable of describing what it was about. A succinct definition could have been that it was about developing the technologies and management processes for a green and sustainable 21st century. 

'World is Watching Earth Sanctuaries' by Mark Edwards

It's a new way to look at how homo sapiens, having created the problem, can now be a part of saving Australia's fauna and biodiversity while neutralising their own greenhouse gas emissions. The strategy of this approach involves educating people about Australia's environmental issues and offering them an option to fund the solutions. Actually saving the environment means achieving measurable outcomes, - but there is a need to raise enough awareness and funds to do anything substantial. 

'People+Planet+Positive= Prosperity' by Catherine Woolcock

Peter Sellar's 2002 Adelaide Festival of Arts is just such an event. He has chosen as his three overarching themes: truth and reconciliation (you can't have one without the other), ecological sustainability and the right to cultural diversity (or the right not to be subsumed by the monotonising and homogenising effect of globalisation). This translates in the terminology of the triple bottom line to "people, planet and people".

'Zero Waste - Plastics reusable recycling' by Malcolm Barnes

OmniPol Pty Ltd has developed a unique way to take all the plastic from the waste stream and rejuvenate it into useful products - such as vineyard posts and aquaculture poles - and in so doing save on use of raw materials such as wood.

'Value of Recycling' by Anthony Green

The issue of waste management and its principles is a subject of hot debate in all areas of our community.

Many believe that the costs associated with the recycling process (collection, sorting and reprocessing) far outweigh the benefits achieved by reusing, recovering or recycling our natural resources.

'Industrial Ecosystems - Can SA mimic Nature?'

Industrial ecology takes the pattern of the natural environment as a model for solving environmental problems in industry. Hardin BC Tibbs, in his paper 'Industrial Ecology - An Environmental Agenda for Industry' (Global Business Network 1993), describes an impressive case study of a town in Denmark, Kalundborg, which illustrates this concept very well.

'Clusters for SA' by Brook Hill

The main goal of the environment 'cluster' process is to gain a significant competitive advantage in this emerging industry for South Australian firms through the collaborative effort of active industry players1 . The South Australian Business Vision (SABV) 2010 Environment Cluster is sponsored by the Environmental Section of the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Science and Resources which wishes to use the Cluster process as a pilot feasibility study for possible national development of the industry.

'Environmental Economics - Too Afraid to Ask?'by Richard Damania

Consider the major environmental problems that confront the world today: pollution, global warming, deforestation and species extinction. The fundamental cause of all these problems is economic in nature. The first step in addressing these problems must thus involve a greater understanding of why economic activities tend to have such destructive environmental consequences. The answer lies in the fundamental characteristics of many environmental and natural resources.

'Ethics of Sustainable Development - Capitalism with a human face' by Attracta Lagan

Being ethical is essentially about accepting our interdependence with each other and taking the other's needs into consideration before acting. In the corporate world, it is reflected in the principles of sustainability, which recognise that business has economic, social and environmental impacts that shape the quality of life for individuals inside and outside the corporation, and that the ethical choice is to ensure these impacts are positive.

'Sector Synergies-it's time to create a new sector for businesses, products and services based on native plants and animals' by Sharyn Sinclair-Hannocks

A new doctoral research study (Sinclair-Hannocks, 2001) has investigated the past development, current status and future prospects for Australian businesses based on native plants and animals, particularly in South Australia and Tasmania.

The research integrates ecological, economic and business understanding, to meet the 'green challenge' of creating a sustainable and harmonious future for Australia's people, plants and animals.

'Globalisation & the Knowledge Economy - an environmental opportunity' by Bob Goreing

Tracking significant historical events, changing social constructs and new economic paradigms represent a real opportunity to learn from the past and shape the future.

The industrial revolution lifted living standards for those communities that embraced industrialisation but at a social and environmental cost. Dr Seuss understood these consequences better than most.

'A Revolution in Land Use: Emerging Land Use Systems for Managing Dryland Salinity' by Richard Stirzaker, Ted Lefroy, Brian Keating & John Williams

" ... All human societies that have forsaken a hunter-gatherer existence have based their civilisations on annual seed-bearing plants such as wheat, rice and maize. It is not the European heritage of agriculture that is at odds with this land (Australia), but the replacement of native perennial plants with annuals.

Jill Hudson Award 2000

The Conservation Council's annual Jill Hudson Award for Environmental Protection is presented to a person living in South Australia who, in the year of the Award, made an outstanding contribution to protecting the environment. The Award recognises not only the efforts and achievements of the recipient, but also the circumstances under which they worked.

'A Generation - Removed or Stolen? ' by Lowitja O'Donoghue

The Murdoch press coverage of my lengthy interview with journalist Andrew Bolt has been simplistic, sensationalist, misleading and mischievous.

This is both personally distressing and, more importantly, potentially very damaging to the causes I have devoted my life to working for.

Appealing Birds - Donate Now Or They'll All Be Stuffed

Letters to the Editor

Book Review

These articles first appeared in Environment South Australia, Vol 8 No 1 - April 2000. The whole or part of this journal may be reproduced without permission provided that acknowledgement is made and provided the reproducer agrees to provide gratis a right of reply in the publication or medium in which the reproduction was published or broadcast, and in a form similar to the reproduction should the Conservation Council of SA or its agents desire to make such a reply.Views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Conservationn Council of South Australia. Non-sexist and non-racist language is a policy of Environment South Australia

©Copyright of the Conservation Council of SA.

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