DESPERATE. That's about the only word that could describe the last-ditch efforts of Australian green groups to slow the Tony Abbott government's relentless march to push business and development interests, no matter the environmental cost.
Having had no luck at all in influencing the Abbott government, a coalition of Australian environmental groups are now imploring the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity -- a longstanding global accord to which Australia is a signatory --- to censure the government for its anti-environmental ways.
Specifically, the green groups want the CBD to slam the Abbott government's scheme for a so-called 'one-stop shop' -- a greatly simplified way to approve environmentally risky projects by devolving responsibility to the individual Australian states, where pro-development interests usually have more sway.
it's a formula for disaster, say conservationists, especially given the conservative nature of many Australian state governments right now.
Such measures are likely to lead to lower environmental standards, conflicted decision-making, and ultimately a loss of biodiversity -- all of which are contrary to Australia's commitments under the CBD, say conservationists.
Having exhausted virtually every possible avenue within Australia, conservationists are now being forced to look abroad for help.
It's a sign of the times and -- as summarized in this excellent essay by ALERT member Corey Bradshaw on his ConservationBytes site -- a telling indication of just how bad things have gotten for the Australian environment.