SEQ Catchments has taken out the Australian Government Natural Resource Management (NRM) Award at the 2011 Queensland Landcare Awards for its work with the Landcare community in delivering the South East Queensland NRM Plan 2009-2031.
The award also acknowledged SEQ Catchments’ support for Landcare across the South East Queensland region.
SEQ Catchments Northern Community Partnerships Manager Susie Chapman was also recognised with Australian Government Local Landcare Facilitator / Coordinator Award for her work in supporting Landcare, catchment and community groups across the Sunshine Coast region.
SEQ Catchments CEO Simon Warner said meeting the targets outlined in the SEQ NRM Plan depended upon partnerships with Landcare, community groups and individual landholders to carry out projects at the grassroots local level.
“Landholders play a fundamental role in protecting and sustaining the unique South East Queensland lifestyle, as the majority of the natural resources that are the focus of SEQ NRM Plan targets are on private land,” he said.
“That’s why SEQ Catchments focuses its efforts with local groups and landholders on education and property planning programs to ensure that improvements at the property level help achieve landscape level targets in the SEQ NRM Plan.
SEQ Catchments, with the support of Landcare groups and other partners, has already delivered some significant outcomes for South East Queensland’s environment with targets expected to be delivered on schedule or ahead of schedule by 2014.
SEQ Catchments undertook extensive public consultation over a four year period to ensure widespread community support for the SEQ NRM Plan and its delivery targets over the next five years.
“South East Queensland is now one of the few places in Australia where the concept of regional planning has attracted legislative support and recognition in the wider community,” Mr Warner said.
he South Australian Premier, Jay Weatherill, has continued his Fight for the Murray campaign with a week-long “River Run” from the State’s border to the Murray Mouth.
The campaign team is travelling the 640 kilometre length of the South Australian reaches of the River in a water quality testing vessel, engaging with river communities and encouraging people to join the fight for a healthy river.
Premier Jay Weatherill officially launched the River Run in Loxton and the journey began at Border Cliffs upstream of Renmark on Saturday, and will end in Goolwa on Sunday 9 September.
Mr Weatherill said the River Run would give people living on the river the opportunity to tell their stories about the impacts of decades of over allocation of water upstream.
“This event will help us explain to people interstate why the Murray is South Australia’s life blood and why we must protect it for the benefit of future generations,” Mr Weatherill said.
“Local councils along the route will be encouraged to fly a Fight for the Murray flag in their communities – as a sign that they have joined the campaign for the best possible plan for the Murray-Darling Basin.
“Councils have been very supportive and keen to get involved. Key community events are planned in Loxton, Renmark, Mannum, Murray Bridge and Goolwa and smaller events are planned in schools, shopping centres and sporting clubs in other townships along the route.
“At each stop the campaign team and river champions will be talking to people about the Fight for the Murray and encouraging them to sign up online, if they haven’t already done so.
“Time is short – with the plan expected to go to the Federal Parliament soon, there is just a small window of opportunity for all Australians who are concerned about the health of the river to get involved,” Mr Weatherill said.
Peruvian authorities say wastewater laced with heavy metals from a major zinc mine has spilled into a tributary of the Amazon, contaminating at least 10km of the waterway.
Pasco regional mining environmental engineer Juan Escalante has told The Associated Press that an unknown quantity of toxic wastewater from the Atacocha mine escaped from a sedimentation well last Wednesday into the Huallaga River. The mine is owned by the Brazilian company Votorantim.
Peru's national water authority granted Atacocha a permit in 2011 to remove metals including mercury, cadmium, lead, iron and manganese from the mine's wastewater and release the treated water into the Huallaga.
Escalante said the area where the spill occurred is in the Andes mountains at about 4,000 metres.
Peru is the world's number two producer of zinc
A federal court in Brazil has ordered the immediate suspension of work on the huge Belo Monte hydro-electric dam in the Amazon. The court says local indigenous people have not been properly consulted. Officials point out that the builders of the dam will be able to appeal against the decision.
Once completed, the 11,000-megawatt dam, in Brazil's Para state, would be the third largest hydro-electric dam in the world.Belo Monte would only be smaller than the Three Gorges in China, and Itaipu which is jointly run by Brazil and Paraguay. The project, which has been heavily criticised by environmentalists, was approved by the Brazilian Congress in 2005, and is expected to flood a vast area of tropical forest.
The government says the dam would make Brazil more self-sufficient in energy, especially in the Amazon region, which relies on fossil fuels for much of its needs. However, opponents of Belo Monte say that the dam will also displace thousands of indigenous people along the Xingu river.
The court says local communities should have had the right to voice their opinion on the environmental impact of the project before the Congress vote.
"A study on the environmental impact of the project was required before, not after, work on the dam started. The legislation is flawed," Judge Souza Prudente told O Globo newspaper.
"The Brazilian Congress must take into account the decisions taken by the indigenous communities. Legislators can only give the go-ahead if the indigenous communities agree with the project," he said.
The building consortium in charge of Belo Monte, Norte Energy, faces a daily fine of $250,000 (£160,000) if it carries on with the work.
The Brazilian authorities say they plan to invest more than $1bn (£640,000) to assist the communities who will be forced to move to make way for the dam.
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