NEWS LETTER Vol. 1 2010 August
"G’day!" This is the way that people often greet each other in Australia, and it particularly suits the state of Queensland, known as the Sunshine State, because on most days it is bathed in sunlight. In the cities of Brisbane and the Gold Coast high rise buildings jostle for space and residential development proceeds apace. That’s right; with people pouring in from both within and outside Australia, this is a region with one of the world’s fastest growing populations. It is also visited by large numbers of tourists from around the world and interstate seeking the balmy weather and the natural environment that spreads across an area several times that of Japan’s. How many of those tourists, however, return home knowing what is actually happening to the natural environment and wild animals of Queensland? Even people who reside there are often unaware that over the past ten years there has been a drop of some 64% in the number of koalas living in the southeast Queensland area (estimated to have fallen from 6246 to 2279), or that there are currently only around 130 northern hairy-nosed wombats, found only in the north of the state, left in the world. Even insect species are declining, with the Richmond bird-wing butterfly under threat of extinction because of a reduction in their habitat and the butterfly vine that is their only source of food.
The primary objective of the AJWCEF is to assist in accurately educating people as to what is happening now to our natural environment and wildlife, and to provide an opportunity for everyone to consider "a better way of co-existing." To this end, we engage in educational activities such as seminars and symposiums, and organize study tours and training courses. AJWCEF also conducts surveys and research, both independently and in conjunction with government wildlife conservation facilities and universities, etc., to provide suggestions for the maintenance of a healthy ecosystem.
These activities, however, may not bear fruit in the short term and, indeed, it may take decades before we find some of the answers to the issues we face. Despite this, I believe we need to at least make a start on what we can do to achieve a healthy world ecosystem. Here at the AJWCEF we do not think that these activities will be completed in our own lifetime; we hope that the result of our efforts will be fully enjoyed by the next generation, and the one after that. I would, therefore, ask that those of you who endorse this approach to show your support over the long-term as members and volunteers.