To complement the essays, commentaries, reviews, and photographic essay in this issue, we asked a group of leading environmentalists, scientists, commentators, and writers what they regard as the most urgent action needed for environmental reform.

Wayne Bergmann

There is an urgent need for widespread recognition of the interrelationship between the protection of cultural heritage and the promotion of native title holders’ role in environmental protection. Native title holders’ role as custodians of traditional lands includes the responsibility for environmental protection of those lands. Native title holders consistently encounter opposition from the private sector and from government.

Promotion of the true scope of custodianship can be achieved in a variety of ways, including through the establishment of effective partnerships between government agencies and native title holders in the regulation of environmental protection. That regulation should make both public and private sector entities accountable not only to government agencies for environmental protection but also to native title holders. There should be requirements by which assessments of the environmental impact of development proposals include a meaningful consideration of Aboriginal social and cultural impacts and impose more stringent measures to avoid, mitigate and manage environmental, social, and cultural issues in relation to development.

(CEO, KRED Enterprises – Ambooriny Burru Charitable Foundation)

Additional Info

  • Free Article No
  • Custom Article Title Environmentalists, scientists, and commentators on environmental reform
  • Contents Category Environmental Studies
Thursday, 30 October 2014 11:32

'Where Song Began' by Tim Low

Australia’s birds stand out from the global avian pack in many ways – ecologically, behaviourally, because some ancient lineages survive here, and because many species are endemic. The ancestors of more than half of the planet’s ten thousand bird species (the songbirds) evolved right here (eastern Gondwana) before spreading across the world. Indeed, Tim Low claims in this important and illuminating book that Australia’s bird fauna is at least as exceptional as our mammal fauna, which has such remarkable elements as the egg-laying monotremes (platypus, echidna) and our marvellous radiation of marsupials (kangaroos, quolls, bandicoots, possums, etc.). Can this be so? As a mammologist, my initial response was that Low’s claim is a bit rich, but, after reading this book, I take his point.

Additional Info

  • Free Article No
  • Custom Article Title Peter Menkhorst reviews 'Where Song Began' by Tim Low
  • Contents Category Ornithology
  • Book Author Tim Low
  • Biblio Penguin, $32.95 pb, 406 pp, 9780670077960