Victorian government takes positive and welcome first step to protect native forests, more details needed environment groups say
Friends of the Earth have today welcomed the Victorian government announcement of protection of 96,000 hectares of forests in eastern Victoria and complete and immediate protection of 90,000 hectares of all remaining old growth forest, but say more details and maps are needed to ensure the announcement results in lasting and effective protection.
Nations behave wisely, Israeli foreign minister Abba Eban observed five decades ago, "once they have exhausted all other alternatives".
International Allies Applaud Victory Against IMF Economic Austerity Measures in Ecuador while Demanding Justice for Violent State Repression of Protests
October 18, 2019 Over 250 organizations from around the world, including Friends of the Earth Australia, express their solidarity with Ecuadorians in a joint letter published today, opposing IMF-imposed austerity measures and the Ecuadorian government’s firm pro-extractivism agenda. Eleven days of mass protests led by Indigenous and labour organizations brought thousands to the streets and ended on Sunday October 14 when the government revoked its IMF-sponsored Decree 883. Photo: Reuters
Protests over the past week in Ecuador have seen indigenous people take over the nation's National Assembly in Quito, with the President, Lenin Moreno having to flee to the city of Guayaquil. The current uprising in Ecuador is led by Indigenous organisation CONAIE. Reports as of 11/10/19 suggest: 7 deaths (including an infant) have occurred, 95 people have been wounded and are in intensive care, with an additional 500 people reporting minor injuries. Nearly 1000 people have been arrested. 57 journalists have been injured with 13 being detained by police. 9 media sources have been closed and 26 politicians arrested. Image: https://twitter.com/CONAIE_Ecuador Protesters take over the National Assembly
In November 2017, Friends of the Earth initiated a campaign to better understand drinking water quality issues in Australia. The Australian Drinking Water Quality Map was constructed by Dvize, with data entered by FoE. The Map hoped to shed light on drinking water problems across Australia. For some years, Friends of the Earth had concerns about contaminants, such as pesticides in drinking water. However, it became apparent that whilst pesticides are frequently detected in water supplies, albeit at low levels, there are a number of substances found more frequently and at levels far higher than most of pesticide detections. Also of interest, was that similar to pesticides, there is no national or state authority in Australia that collates information from around the country concerning water quality issues. Image: Roma (Queensland). Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roma,_Queensland
The Glyphosate controversy continues making news around the world and in Australia. The latest news being that the German Government has recently announced that it will phase out all uses for Glyphosate by 2023. Interestingly, the prime motivation for the decision in Germany was not so much human health concerns, but the damage the herbicide does to ecosystems, in particular insects critical for pollination of food crops.
The Victorian Government has recently been thwarted by community opposition in the Mornington Peninsula, to widespread insecticide application for mosquito control. The Government in conjunction with Mornington Shire Council were planning to spray 25 square kilometres of the Peninsula with insecticides Bifenthrin or Methoprene. This image shows the areas targeted with Bifenthrin spraying in March 2019 in suburban Rye.
Pesticides are rife across the Australian landscape. Thousands of toxic sites exist across the country. Since the creation of the Australian Pesticide Map in November 2017, statistics have shown that by far the page that has generated the most interest, is the page relating to Homebush Bay in Sydney. This interest is also likely to highlight that Homebush Bay and the ongoing dioxin pollution Sydney Harbour are the number one pesticide hotspots in the country. Homebush Bay is marked with the yellow pin on image.
Australian Mining companies Solgold and a subsidiary of Gina Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting, continue to encounter problems in Ecuador. Solgold, an Australian exploration company is starting to come under sustained resistance from local communities, alarmed that hundreds of thousands of hectares of Ecuador is now under mining concessions owned by Solgold. Rinehart's problems have been receiving international media attention, after the Ecuadorian Government employed 2000 troops in July to clear out her mining concession, Imba 2, in the north of the country of 10,000 "illegal" miners. The army was apparently sent in by President Lenin Moreno, after a terse meeting with Hanrine, the Hancock subsidiary, in April.