Thursday, June 21, 2012

Environmentality 20 June 2012

Jaime, Bridget and Danielle spoke with two wonderful guests, Martin Foster, from the Adopt-a-Tree Program, and Daisy Barham from the Australian Marine Conservation Society.

The fantastic Adopt-a -Tree Program in the Moreland Council is about the greening of nature strips and civic land with native ground covers, and edible herbs and vegetables.   Residents and businesses "adopt" the land and take care of it. The community help with monthly weeding and the maintenance of the sites.  The-Adopt-a-Tree program originally started with an article in the local newspaper, and 50 people signed up straight away.

The community were able to get the approval and financial support of the Moreland Council for the initiative.  There are health benefits, in having people physically active in the community.  And as well as the obvious environmental benefits, there are also social benefits through community engagement and the sharing of stories.  Children especially are enjoying the opportunity to be involved.  Now in its second year of operating, the Adopt-A-Tree Program is looking to become incorporated and expand to other councils. 

As part of the program, there is an initiative to connect the Merri Creek and the Moonee Ponds Creek through a natural corridor whereby wildlife are able to pass through.  The community will also be able to walk through the corridor, which will hopefully encourage more people to use their feet rather than car!  Martin has told us that their website is underway, in the meantime you can email him on with any queries about the program:

In the second half of the show the co-presenters spoke with Daisy Barham from the Australian Marine Conservation Society, the only conservation organisation dedicated to oceans in Australia.   The Society promotes conservation of Australia’s waters, the most diverse waters in the world. Their website:, also see 

There is some good news on the marine conservation front, which Environmentality listeners may already be aware of.   Last week, the Federal Environment Minister announced the largest network of marine reserves in the world!  The network of marine parks is made up of five zones around Australia, including the Coral Sea.  This network will protect the waters for conservation purposes, like national parks.  Australia is now a world leader in this area, something to be proud of! 

A large focus of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development will also be on oceans.  As Daisy commented, around 30-40 years ago people woke up to the negative impacts of human activity on land through visible impacts such as deforestation.  Now at the Rio Conference there will hopefully be more of a spotlight on the oceans.

The choices we make daily have an impact on marine life and the oceans.  The Australian Marine Conservation Society have developed a wonderful sustainable seafood guide, with 100 species assessed for sustainability. You can find it on this website:

Next week, the Environmentality team will be speaking to Jarred from Australian Student Environment Network (ASEN) about student environmental activism.  We will also be shortly starting an exciting new regular feature.  Gavin Webber, author of the fabulous blog, will be doing some 10 minute reading sessions of his new book to listeners.  Stay tuned!

Listen to the show!

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