Media release – world biodiversity day should be renamed biodiversity disaster day

20 May 2016

Media Releases 2016

Sustainable Population Australia Inc.
Patrons: Hon. Bob Carr, Dr Paul Collins, Prof Tim Flannery, Em Prof Ian Lowe, Dr Mary E White
Youth Ambassador: Ms Bindi Irwin


PO Box 3851
Weston Creek, ACT, 2611
Ph (02) 6288 6810

20th May, 2016

World Biodiversity Day, set by the UN for 22nd May, should be renamed Biodiversity Disaster Day says environment group, Sustainable Population Australia (SPA).

The Australian government has this year added 53 new species to the national threatened species list and has upgraded some species to a higher level of threat.  This clearly shows there is a problem, but the solution is unpalatable to the major political parties.

SPA national president, Sandra Kanck, says the heart of the problem is increasing human numbers putting pressures on habitat.

“It is people who continue to destroy the natural environment for the purposes of human settlement and never-ending economic growth, not realising the long -term problems we create.

“The plight of koalas in Queensland is indicative of the problem.  A University of Queensland report released this month shows that south-east Queensland’s koala population is on the verge of collapse, due to habitat loss and dog attacks as well as disease – all functions of human pressures.

“In a 20-year period, 80% of the koala population in and around Brisbane has disappeared, a clear indication of the impacts of urban sprawl, courtesy of population growth.

“In other parts of Australia we see possums on the threatened species list because commercial logging removes their habitat.

“There is not an economic value attached to koalas or possums in the wild, so they are being sacrificed.

“But the environment is not an add-on to the economy; rather the economy and human wellbeing are dependent on the environment and the life support systems it is comprised of.

“Accordingly the environment should be treated with far greater respect, and given that the cause of the biodiversity threats is human-induced, all political parties need to come to terms with the need to limit growth of human population in keeping with environmental limits,” said Ms Kanck.

– ENDS –

Sandra Kanck, National President, Sustainable Population Australia

About Sustainable Population Australia: SPA is an independent not-for-profit organisation formed in 1988 to promote an understanding of the effects of human population numbers on the biosphere and society.


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