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  • Health Crisis?

    The recent outbreak of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) has forced authorities to take measures to practice self-isolation and physical distancing. So hence CEN has had to cancel its upcoming events, that engage us with our natural environment and each other through our numerous programs. As well as being a human health crisis this is also an environmental health crisis. Let me explain.

    Our natural environment has evolved to be the only planet in our universe, where our oceans and forests provide us with the oxygen to breathe, sustain us with fresh water and nurture us with the foods we eat from trees and plants and in effect regenerating populations.

    Several researchers today think that it is humanity’s destruction of our biodiversity that has created the conditions for new viruses and diseases such as Covid-19. Hence there is a call world-wide, for an overhaul of current approaches to urban planning and development, that is cancerous in its approach to unsustainable development and out of balance with the natural environment.  Sustainable development is essential if we are to keep our biodiverse wetlands and native forests across the Central Coast and beyond intact and in equilibrium to provide us with the clean air, fresh water and clean soils, plants/ trees to sustain us.

    The United Nations, Environment executive director Ms Inger Andersen, in a recent article in the Guardian newspaper titled, ‘Coronavirus, Nature is Sending Us a Message’ is quoted as saying. “There are too many pressures at the same time on our natural systems and something has to give. We are intimately interconnected with nature, whether we like it or not. If we don’t take care of nature, we can’t take care of ourselves. And as we hurtle towards a population of 10 billion people on this planet, we need to go into this future armed with nature as our strongest ally.”

    health crisis

    On the Central Coast we are privileged enough to have, in our back and front yards the beaches, lakes and wetlands, native forests and parklands, all essential to human health and well-being. Once the physical distancing and crisis passes, which it will, it is important we reconnect with one another and our natural environment. Recognising the role nature plays in our lives and doing all that we can to protect her from unsustainable cancerous development.

    CEN regularly holds planning submission workshops for ecologically sustainable development. Educating our community in ways to reconnect with nature through our Waterwatch, Habitat for Wildlife and Land for Wildlife programs. Visit our Marine Discovery Centre, plant native trees by supporting our native/wild plant nursery. Most importantly build the resilience of our future leaders in practising regeneration through our Youth. Encouraging and supporting them to be involved with our CEN Youth program, related events and initiatives.

    We are all in this together.

    Hale Adasal CEN Chairwoman

  • Whenever I go into the CEN office located at Ourimbah campus, to attend meetings or catch up on tasks as the volunteer in chief, I am always greeted by the wonderful energy of community members in our centre.

     It is great to catch up with staff and the inspirational work that they do. But I also love speaking with our other volunteers, who like me spend numerous hours of their week, working to make our Community Environment Network the success story that it is. Whether it is caring for the plants, getting them ready for our monthly plant sales. Or in the nursery, developing the plants from seedlings. Or it could be designing logos for our programs and events or data entry for our community nature programs. Not to mention our front-line volunteers who answer our phone calls and respond to our emails. They are all members of our Central Coast Community who realise that Connecting with people who have the same vision for their community and our local environment is key for our well-being. Once we make this Connection, we can Collaborate, bringing our thinking together to Create models of how our community should look and function. So, it makes sense, the energy I feel when I speak with volunteers like myself who share their skills and passions volunteering for CEN. We connect to something bigger than our individual selves in which everyone has a role to play.CEN Youth National Tree Planting Day 2020

    The current Climate the way it is and the inevitable Change that will take place whether its forced on us or we prepare our human communities to face these Challenges. All we will have, are these relationships, that Connect us with one another and our natural environment. An essential first step to ensure the Collaboration and Creation of community models follows. The stakes are high, but the rewards will be world changing.

    Community is Everything

    Hale Adasal

    CEN Chair

  • The Coalition Government has been elected for another 3 years. In the last 6 years, Australia's emissions have increased significantly (up 4%, National Greenhouse Gas Inventory). The government removed the carbon price legislation and is allowing existing industry to increase their emissions levels. We aren’t on target to reach 26% reduction from 2005 levels regardless of what the Prime Minister claims.

    We rely on the environmental systems around us for our food, clean water and air. 10,000 years of stable climate has supported the development of our civilization and we depend on these environmental services for our very survival.

    Climate zones are already migrating. The bands of desert that surround our planet on both sides of the equatorial zone are moving towards the poles. The deserts of central Australia are expanding southward into areas where we grow a large part of Australia’s food. The same is happening in Europe, the USA and Asia.

    Global warming (the result of climate change driven by our greenhouse gas emissions) is destroying whole ecologies. Extreme events are increasing with heat waves killing more people in Australia than our road toll. Global warming is an unfolding disaster - a clear and present danger to all people across the globe.

    The IPCC Special Report issued last October (SR15) made it clear that we must act now to ensure we leave a livable planet to our children. We must avoid triggering dangerous thresholds where climate mechanisms start to drive us irrevocably into chaos. We have run out of time.

    All governments must prioritize emergency emissions reduction ahead of all other policy. As our children's movement School Strike for Climate has stated, we must ban new exploitation of fossil fuels and instigate rapid closure of our current fossil fuel usage. This position is not radical. It is the absolute minimum action needed to respond to this threat.

    Our ancestors innocently started this process. We have had a small taste this decade of extreme events and damage to global treasures (e.g. Great Barrier Reef). The next decade will be ten times worse.

    We have the technologies to begin the transition - solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, pumped water storage, electric vehicles, etc. The cost of these is dropping rapidly with some already less than or close to the fossil fuel alternatives.

    We must call for an emergency response by all levels of government to cease all support for the fossil fuel industry, instigate rapid and just transition of our economy to zero emissions and prepare for the impacts that are already inevitable.

    The Federal Government must cease its stalling and implement the necessary actions now. There will be costs, but these are insignificant compared to the impacts of rampant unchecked global warming.

Contact details

CALL 02 4349 4756

FAX 02 4349 4755

PO Box 149 Ourimbah NSW 2258

CEN OFFICES
The Manor, Central Coast Campus
University of Newcaste
Brush Road Ourimbah
NSW

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