This World Environment Day (5 June), we invited our members to a virtual interactive workshop, to learn from our their local knowledge and experience. This was complemented with an online survey for those who couldn't attend.
The responses have provided us with some valuable insights...
We started out with a question regarding the natural values of our region. What did our members love the most about North Queensland? Unsurprisingly, responses included the following:
- Our range of beautiful landscapes;
- Our rich biodiversity, including bats, birds, marsupials and a huge array of marine species;
- Beautiful weather - particularly during the dry season; and
- The range of ways available to connect with nature in our region, including swimming in the ocean, bushwalking in national parks and bird-watching wherever you go.
Next, our participants helped to shed light on the environmental threats and impacts that are of the most concern to them. The main threats identified fell into three main categories:
- Local climate change impacts (e.g. impacts on marine and terrestrial species and habitats);
- Harmful industries and development (e.g. commercial development in national parks, thermal coal mining, land clearing and agriculture, dredging, illegal dumping and live exports); and
- Human behaviours (primarily greed, a lack of awareness of environmental issues and a loss of connection with our environment).
Some species were also recognised as having detrimental impacts locally when not effectively managed, such as Leucaena and the Crown-of-thorns starfish.
We finished with a question regarding a vision for the future of North Queensland and were inspired by some of the responses. Ideally, North Queensland's future would...
- Be powered by renewable energy;
- Have an abundance of safe habitats and well-managed national parks;
- Be green, kind and civil; and
- Be home to resilient, caring and connected communities for whom environmental protection is a top priority.
The participation of all survey respondents and workshop attendees is deeply appreciated. If you missed out on making your contribution, get in touch with us at anytime and keep an eye out for future opportunities! After all, we are YOUR voice for the environment in North Queensland.