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Australia leads in mammal extinction crisis as groups call for the UN to review Australia’s worsening environmental performance

Leadbeaters Possum

Victoria’s emblem the Leadbeater’s Possum is one of several mammals to top the crisis list as Australia is awarded the reluctant accolade of suffering the worst mammal extinction record in the world, according to a new CSIRO report - The Action Plan for Australian Mammals 2012.  The report was released only days after groups petitioned the UN  for an audit of Australia’s worsening environment performance.

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Commonwealth environment Minister Greg  Hunt thismorning responded to the landmark CSIRO-published study whichfound mammal extinctions were 40 per cent higher than previously thought andidentified - Link ABCinterview with Minister Greg Hunt.

Eight environment groups have petitioned the United NationsConvention on Biodiversity, the international body concerned with biodiversityprotection, to look into whether Australia is complying with its obligations atinternational law. They have also informed the Convention about thegovernment's plans to hand over its environment protection powers to thestates, and warned of the impacts this could have on Australia's forests andbroader environment.

"We want the international community to know thatAustralia is failing to meet its international commitments to protect ourforests and our threatened species, " said Ms Millner. Principle litigatorat Environmental Justice Australia.

The submission contains statements from eminent scientistson the state of the forests and the impacts of native forest logging. In thestatement, speaking about the Victorian Central Highlands, Professor DavidLindenmayer stated,  "industrial scale clearfell logging... is thekey threatening process in this ecosystem." Other scientists commented onthe loss of biodiversity in Western Australia and East Gippsland. 

"Commonwealth Environment Minister Greg Hunt wasconfident that he and his Department knew of the crisis besetting Australia’smammals but when pushed on intervening in cases like the quickening extinctionof the Leadbeater’s Possum due to tax funded logging in Victoria, he was quickto shy away from any so-called ‘direct action’” Sarah Rees said.

Link to UN CBD petition - link

 Australian Conservation Foundationmedia release - link

Petition to UN CBD

Environmental Justice Australia MR

140602 MR.pdf 89.24 kB