Australia has taken the chainsaw to over 40 per cent of our forests to make way for agriculture or development. Despite being known as a great barren land, it’s thought that 30 per cent of the continent was covered in forests prior to colonisation.
The decline in rainfall over the last 40 years can be linked to extensive logging close to the coast to make way for housing developments and wheat cropping in the South West of Western Australia (Esperance to Geraldton). This is according to a study by University of Western Australia’s (UWA) Centre for Water Research (the centre was closed down in 2015 as UWA announced the controversial Australia Consensus Centre) published in the International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology in September 2013.
The Southwest Australia Ecoregion as it's known, spans from Shark Bay on WA’s northern coast to Esperance on the south-east coast, and then extending in a narrow band towards the South Australian border is in the top 34 most valuable biodiversity hotspots in the world. It’s because of this that the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has named it a priority area.
A state forest, nature reserve or conservation park earns the title of protected national park if they have unspoilt landscapes and a diverse number of native plants and animals. Apparently they’re kind of like a zoo (curious comparison but anyway...) in that they aim to protect native flora and fauna and are tourist attractions for international visitors.
If you think you know a site that should be on the UNESCO World Heritage List you can submit it at their website. The selection criteria is pretty impressive and you’ll need to prove that your corner of the world is an example of “masterpieces of human genius” or has “significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity” ...among other criteria. Reckon the outdoor dunny is a masterpiece of human genius.