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Please bear with us over the coming months as the country deals with the COVID-19 crisis. We do not have access to our network of volunteers and like-minded people/organisations as many are either not working or do not have access to the Internet/computers. But we will bring you as much up-to-date information as we are able to.

22/09 2021

ICAN – International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

The International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) (www.icanw.org) is a coalition of non-governmental organisatons (NGOs) promoting adherence to and implementation of the United Nations nuclear weapon ban treaty. It is headquartered in Switzerland. It has 601 partner organisations spread across 106 countries.

On the 7th July 2017 – after a decade of advocacy by ICAN and its partners – the UN adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). The treaty entered into force on the 22 January 2021. For its advocacy and campaigning, ICAN was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.

To date, 86 countries are State Signatories; 55 of which have ratified it. This means that these countries are prohibited from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons, or allowing nuclear weapons to be stationed on their territory. It also prohibits them from assisting, encouraging or inducing anyone to engage in these activities.

If a nation possesses nuclear weapons, it may join the treaty, so long as it agrees to destroy them in a legally-binding, timely manner. Similarly, a nation that hosts another’s nuclear weapons may join, so long as a process is agreed for those weapons to be removed.

In addition, signatories must also provide assistance to all the victims of the use and testing of nuclear weapons and to take measures for the remediation of contaminated environments; especially women, children and indigenous peoples.

ICAN was founded in Australia in 2007. Australia is not one of the signatories – despite not having nuclear weapons of its own – and has caused much controversy with its decision to join the US and UK in an alliance to purchase a new generation of nuclear submarines.

Currently, there are 13,080 nuclear warheads spread across the world. The following are countries that still hold nuclear weapons (listed in number of warheads):

Russia – 6,255; USA – 5,550; China – 350; France – 290; UK – 225; Pakistan – 165; India – 156; Israel – 90; and North Korea – 40-50.

The following countries host U.S. nuclear weapons:

Turkey – 50; Italy – 40; Belgium – 20; Germany – 20; and the Netherlands – 20.

None of the above countries have joined the TPNW.

The rationale of holding a nuclear arsenal is that of Mutually-Assured Destruction (MAD). Having a nuclear arsenal and knowing that your enemies also have such an arsenal means that no-one is stupid enough to actually give the order to launch nuclear weapons because they would know that a nuclear retaliation would occur.

Whilst the threat of an actual nuclear confrontation between the major holders of nuclear weapons in Europe seems to have diminished for the present, it is possible that a war between China and /or North Korea and the USA, Australia, UK and others might occur, which could turn nuclear. A number of flashpoints in Asia and the Middle East could potentially turn nuclear as several of the key stakeholders are nuclear-armed:

  • India and Pakistan along their disputed border regions
  • India and China along their disputed border regions
  • North Korea and its relations with South Korea and Japan
  • China and its relationship with Taiwan
  • China and its expansion into the South China Sea and Philippine region
  • Israel being surrounded by Islamic countries who have an inherent distrust of the Jewish state.
  • Russia and its relationship with some of the former Soviet states in Asia.

In addition, there is a concern that ‘ROGUE’ or terrorist elements will obtain nuclear material and use it for their own warped agenda. The fear is that such a group could carry out a Twin Towers-style attack in the future, but with nuclear (or, indeed, chemical or biological) material.

The other problem is that not all countries are particularly open with their various energy and weapons programmes, and what they hold. Iran’s nuclear energy programme is causing particular concern over its alleged research into manufacturing nuclear weapons due to its uranium enrichment and plutonium production. The International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) monitors these activities but has been not always been provided with full and unrestricted access to facilities and documentation.

The problems that the IAEA have had with Iran bring into the spotlight another issue: how open and trustworthy will particular countries be with their civilian nuclear and other programmes? The invasion of Iraq due to Saddam Hussein’s supposed refusal to be open about Iraq’s nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and that the ‘intelligence’ agencies stated that there ‘must’ have been such materials left in Iraq as the figures that they had didn’t correlate. The invasion and subsequent search uncovered very little in the way of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.

The above digression shows that the work of ICAN is by no means over, and that ICAN and its partners need to work to convince countries that currently have nuclear weapons that they are no longer needed. This requires a truly significant change in mindset of leaders of the ‘Nuclear Club’. This is especially difficult due to the dichotomy between the major capitalist nuclear members (USA; France and UK) and the three main communist regimes (Russia, China and North Korea). Unfortunately, leaders of all three communist regimes play hardline politics and, as such, cause concern in the major capitalist countries, who continue to modernize their own offensive and defensive capabilities to ‘counter’ these threats.

The challenge of ICAN and its partners is to encourage dialogue and openness between the members of the ‘Nuclear Club’.

Frank Ondrus, President – HOPE Inc., ph. 4639 2135
Written by Jason Dingley, HOPE Media Officer (Vic)

** Looking for other media releases? Visit our Media Activities page.

18/09 2021

International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction, Wednesday 29th September 2021

The amount of food wasted each year is staggering - in Australia alone it is over seven million tonnes, with an estimated cost of $20 million! Despite this, a worrying percentage of the population experiences some form of food insecurity (approximately 20% in Australia). To raise awareness of food loss, the United Nations (UN) has inaugurated Wednesday 29th September 2021 as the first International Day of Food Loss and Waste Reduction (www.un.org/en/observances/end-food-waste-day).

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the UN define food loss and waste as the decrease in quantity or quality of food along the food supply chain. Food loss itself is the result of decisions and actions taken (or not taken) by suppliers, but excluding the final interactions with consumers (retailers; food service providers and the actual consumer of the food), Food waste is the result of purchasing decisions by consumers, or decisions by retailers and food service providers that influence consumer behaviour. The FAO State of Food and Agriculture 2019 report discusses these concepts in greater detail.

When food is lost or wasted, all the resources that have gone to produce that food (water, land, energy, labour and capital) are wasted, and the further along the chain that the loss occurs, the greater the amount of resources that have been invested to reach that point that are lost. In addition, disposal of this food creates large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions.

Some unused food can be composted and reused as fertilizer. Too much, however, still finds its way into landfill.

For many years, the European Union set production quotas for the agricultural sector which resulted in food ‘mountains’ and ‘lakes’ that were either disposed of, or dumped on the world market at greatly reduced prices, causing economic hardship to other producers.

The Coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the food loss and waste - with Australia in continued lockdowns and shut-off from the rest of the world, many producers are struggling to find the labour to harvest fruit and vegetables. This work has traditionally been undertaken by ‘backpacker’ tourists and students who come on seasonal working visas.

To avoid letting this food rot, some farmers have been able to turn the products into more processed forms: strawberries into strawberry jam, for example. This is an added cost for them, and it results in a glut of these products on the market which are then sold very cheaply at the supermarkets, which leads to consumers over-buying products and not using them, and thence, having to dispose of them once spoiled.

In addition, ‘panic buying’ by consumers of items in large quantities from supermarkets means that, not only is there the potential for large scale household food wastage but, also, the feedback effects throughout the food supply chain.

For the consumer, there are a number of ways to reduce food waste:

Firstly, take time to plan your meals, so you buy what you need in the quantities you can adequately store and use.

Secondly, avoid the temptation to bulk buy on special offers – how many tins of baked beans do you really need?

Thirdly, if you find you have more food than you can use, consider donating it to a food bank or community pantry. There are many people who rely on these services, and would gladly take the food you will throw away.

Consider buying direct from the farmer / producer. That way, you know that the person who is actually producing the food is going to get the money. In addition, you can choose food that is fresher than that from a supermarket.

Utilise leftovers (when stored correctly, of course) so that they can form the basis of a second meal, rather than throwing them away.

Not only will you save food waste, but also, save money!

Food and Drink magazine has an article entitled ‘Wasted Opportunities’, which can be accessed from HOPE inc. website: www.hopeaustralia.org.au/uploads/media/Waste-Opportunities.PDF.

Frank Ondrus, President – HOPE Inc., ph. 4639 2135
Written by Jason Dingley, HOPE Media Officer (Vic)

** Looking for other media releases? Visit our Media Activities page.

14/09 2021

National Organic Week, 20th-26th September 2021

Since 2008, the Centre for Organic Research & Education (CORE) has been organizing the National Organic Week (NOW), which is a week of targeted media and locally-staged activities designed to increase awareness of the benefits of organic products and farming production systems and to accelerate the uptake of these in the wider Australian community and environment (www.organicweek.net.au/core/about-now).

NOW has a number of goals:

  • Increase consumer demand for, confidence in and appreciation for organically-grown produce and goods
  • Raising the public’s awareness of the connection between organic farming and environmental sustainability, with particular focus on climate change abatement, organic farming practices, food waste avoidance and composting;
  • Increase knowledge among the public and businesses about the stringent standards for organic and biodynamic products;
  • Engage and build capacity for farmers to convert to organic and biological farming methods;
  • Raise political awareness at all levels of how organic and biological farming methods and products directly meet the agricultural and environmental challenges of the 21st century;
  • Raise the profile of NOW and support stakeholders and sponsors in promoting themselves and their products to the public.

Organic produce has increased in popularity (and, consequently, in the revenue generated). In 2000, the global market for organic product was US$18 billion; by 2019, this had increased to US$106 billion.

What is organic farming or organic agriculture?

Lampkin (1994) defined organic farming as: an “approach to agriculture where the aim is to create integrated, humane environmentally and economically sustainable agricultural production systems, which maximize reliance on farm-derived renewable resources and the management of ecological and biological processes and interactions, so as to provide acceptable levels of crop, livestock and human nutrition, protection from pests and diseases, and an appropriate return to the human and other resources employed” (taken from N. H. Lampkin and S. Padel Eds. 1994. The Economics of Organic Farming: an international perspective. CABI: Wallingford.

What a mouthful! What this means in practice is, to farm organically, the following methods are used:

  • Crop rotation; whereby a sequence of different crops is used to maintain the nutrient and water balance of the soil, whilst keeping pests to a minimum. Rotational grazing with livestock works the same way;
  • Use of fallow periods on particular plots to allow natural recovery;
  • Mixed cropping, so that a variety of plant species are grown together, rather than vast field of monocrops;
  • Ecological or biological pest control: using natural predators of pest species rather than herbicides and pesticides;
  • Reduced soil disturbance and better soil chemistry through improved land management practices;
  • Improving water quantity and quality through the use of mulches and different soil preparation techniques;
  • Use of natural windbreaks;
  • Increased biodiversity; allowing nature to do the work through not only pest control, but also pollination, and creating habitats for different species to nest;
  • Reduced run-off into watercourses of chemicals and top-soil; and
  • Use of composting and organic manures as nutrient sources, rather than expensive fertilizers

NOW will enable people to learn about these and other strategies for producing organic agricultural produce.

Should you wish to register an event, the following link can be used to submit the details of the event: https://www.organicweek.net.au/core/events/register-an-event/

HOPE Inc. has a number of resources that introduce different aspects of sustainable living and organic farming available to download from its website. For example, here is a fact sheet on composting: Info Sheet: Composting - Is it for me?, If you want a small vegetable patch, but have little space, have a look at Square Foot Gardening: How to Square Foot Garden. Should you wish to keep chickens, and have free range eggs for breakfast, here is an informative leaflet: Beginner's Guide to Chook-Keeping.

Frank Ondrus, President – HOPE Inc., ph. 4639 2135
Written by Jason Dingley, HOPE Media Officer (Vic)

** Looking for more media releases? Visit our Media Activities page.

12/09 2021

Check out our September Bulletin!

Welcome to September! Our September Bulletin is here and this month, we have focused on bringing to your attention pertinent environmental issues from the national and international sphere.

Visit our e-News Bulletins page to download your copy.

September Bulletin Editorial

03/09 2021

Transform your city’s streets for World Car Free Day, 22 September 2021

Every year on 22 September, the world gets together to take the heat off the planet for just one day. By encouraging people to be less dependent on cars and use more environmentally friendly alternatives, we can all reduce dangerous carbon emissions and help protect our environment.

Today, there are over one billion cars on the roads adding a dangerous amount of pollution, which can damage our lungs, contribute to atmospheric haze and an increased amount of carbon monoxide. For one day, we urge you to try to avoid using your car and instead why not try cycling, walking, using public transport or carpooling with your colleagues.

As the climate heats up, World Car Free Day is also a great time to put pressure on city planners and politicians to give priority to cycling, walking and public transport. Let World Car Free Day be a showcase for just how our cities might look like, feel like, and sound like without cars 365 days a year.

Check out World Car Free Network’s resources and find inspiration there, find potential allies in your area and become an activist for car free day today. If you have any questions or want to organise your own event, simply send info about your local event to infocarfreeday@gmail.com

See you on the streets! #CarFreeDay .

Frank Ondrus, President – HOPE Inc., ph. 4639 2135
Media officer: Danielle Eyre, mob: 0456 610 307

23/08 2021

Ozone for life: 35 years of ozone layer protection

On the 16th of September we celebrate 35 years of global ozone layer protection, through decisive Ozone treaties and global powers working in harmony to preserve life on earth.

The ozone layer protects the Earth from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation, but scientists in the 1970’s discovered that gases such as refrigerators and air-conditioners were creating a hole in this protective shield. With powerful climate warming potential, damage to the environment, the threat of skin cancer, cataracts, damage to crops and disruption of our ecosystem, something urgently needed to be done.

The global response was momentous. The world’s governments worked together to build the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, which established international community cooperation to take action and protect the ozone layer. This was embraced and signed by 28 countries. Together with this and under the Montreal Protocol, governments, scientists and industry worked together to cut out 99 per cent of all ozone-depleting substances. Thanks to the Montreal Protocol, the ozone layer is healing and expected to return to pre-1980 values by mid-century. In support of the Protocol, the Kigali Amendment, which came into force in 2019, also works towards reducing greenhouse gases.

World Ozone Day shows that collective decisions and action, guided by science, are the only way to solve major global crises. Use #Ozoneforlife and help raise awareness of the importance of our ozone layer for now and future generations.

Frank Ondrus, President – HOPE Inc., ph. 4639 2135
Media officer: Danielle Eyre, mob: 0456 610 307

Ozone Layer Protection Day flyer

20/08 2021

Overview of First Meeting of States Parties of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

The First Meeting of States Parties (MSP) of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) will be held in Vienna, Austria on 12-14 January 2022. ThePresident-designate of the meeting is Austrian ambassador Alexander Kmentt. As the official civil society coordinator of the MSP, ICAN will provide information to all interested non-governmental organisations about the preparations, registration, NGO participation and other civil society activities around the meeting, as it becomes available.

At the MSP, states will meet to discuss the universalisation and implementation of the TPNW, and should adopt a declaration and an action plan to take forward these goals. This short briefing paper provides an overview of the treaty’s implementation articles and possible topics of discussion including references to recommendations and previously published work on each subject.

Read more about this overview here.

24/07 2021

Better Futures Forum: New wave of speakers confirmed, including BAN KI-MOON

In under four weeks, Australians from all corners of society and the economy will meet online at the Better Futures Forum to publicly launch our collective commitment to ambitious national climate action.

The inspirational lineup of keynote speakers include former Secretary-General of the UN Ban Ki-Moon; NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean; City of Adelaide Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor; US Climate and Foreign Policy Advisor Jonathan Pershing; UNFCCC High-Level Champion of Chile, Entrepreneur Mr Gonzalo Muñoz; CEO of HESTA superfund, Debby Blakey; Founder and CEO of Vulcan Energy, Dr Francis Wedin; Managing Director and Co-Founder of KeepCup, Abigail Forsyth; Co-Chair of the Indigenous Peoples’ Organisation, Cathy Eatock; President of the National Council of Churches, Bishop Philip Huggins; CEO of CRC for Low Carbon Living Deo Prasad; and Former Managing Partner, McKinsey and Company, John Lydon.

They will be supported by a diverse lineup of experts including senior leaders from businesses and organisations such Wesfarmers, Officeworks, Tyson Foods, Transurban, the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Australian Impact Investments, Intrepid Travel, Australian Council of Social Service, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, Farmers for Climate Action, Smart Energy Council, Equity Generation Lawyers, Green Building Council of Australia, Outdoor Council of Australia, and many others at the cutting edge of climate action in their sectors. Read more about the forum here.

Unconfined by a physical location, the Better Futures Forum will meet you wherever you are in a virtual space. Invite your colleagues to be a part of our moment for driving national climate action by sharing the BFF video clip below.

Register HERE by 31 July to receive a 30% discount on your ticket.

Best regards,

Lisa Cliff
Program Manager | Climate Action Network Australia | Better Futures Australia
M: +61 429 998 315 | E: lisa@cana.net.au

20/07 2021

ELGA News and Webminar Series

Our next webinar is Our Democratic Crisis: building covenant with one another and the Earth, Tuesday July 20 at 14:00 - 15:30 ET (NY), hosted by the Center for Environmental Ethics and Law and the Ethics Specialist Group of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law.

Please also note the following important announcements:

  1. ELGA Biennial Symposium 2021, ELGA Responds to the Crises of Today, will be held 13-15 October 2021 (all virtual). This gathering will focus on how principles of ecological law and governance can help us - and are helping us - address the local, national, regional, and global crises we face today, including responses to specific policy issues such as the European Green Deal, ministries of "ecological transition", Green Wall efforts in Africa, and ecological civilization efforts in Asia, as well as exploration into larger issues such as climate dominance and carbon neutrality, 'sustainable' development and circular economies, and colonialism and democracy. We will be reaching out to panelists and participants soon with invitations and a draft programme. If you are interested in participating, please contact us at elga@elgaworld.org.

  2. Launch of the L4E (Law for the Ecozoic) Ecological Law Blog! First entry (11 June 2021), (Re)Imagining the World Through an Ecological Law Lens. By Gabriel D'Astous and Larissa Parker. Please consider a submission.

  3. Our August webinar will be 17 August 2021 (time TBC) by the River Ethiope Trust Foundation. Please check our 2021 webinar series page for updates. The full 2021 Webinar Series calendar is available at https://elgaworld.org/webinar-series-2021. Please check regularly for updates, panelists, and amazing Recommended Readings. All 2019 and 2020 events can be found at https://elgaworld.org/webinar-series.

  4. Publication Announcement!: Lynda Collins (Routledge 2021), The Ecological Constitution: Reframing Environmental Law. This book sets out the necessary components of any constitution that could be considered "ecological" in nature. In particular, it argues that an ecological constitution is one that codifies the following key principles, at a minimum: the principle of sustainability; intergenerational equity and the public trust doctrine; environmental human rights; rights of nature; the precautionary principle and non-regression; and rights and obligations relating to a healthy climate.

  5. Arriving Soon - Publication Announcement!: Craig Kauffman and Pamela Martin (17 August 2021 - MIT Press), The Politics of Rights of Nature: Strategies for Building a More Sustainable Future. Kauffman and Martin tell how community activists, lawyers, judges, scientists, government leaders, and ordinary citizens have formed a global movement to advance RoN as a solution to the environmental crises facing the planet. They compare successful and failed attempts to implement RoN at various levels of government in six countries—Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, India, New Zealand, and the United States—asking why these laws emerged and proliferated in the mid-2000s, why they construct RoN differently, and why some efforts at implementation are more successful than others.

  6. Publication Announcement!: Ngozi Unuigbe (2021), Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Global Pandemics: Biodiversity and Planetary Health Beyond Covid-19. The reduction of species diversity has increased the risk of global pandemics and it is therefore not only imperative to articulate and disseminate knowledge on the linkages between human activities and the transmission of viruses to humans, but also to create policy pathways for operationalizing that knowledge to help solve future problems. Although this book has been prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, it lays a policy foundation for the effective management or possible prevention of similar pandemics in the future.

  7. The IUCN World Conservation Congress will be held 03-11 September 2021 in Marseilles, France. The International Rights of Nature Tribunal (European Tribunal on the Rights of Aquatic Systems) is being rescheduled to align with the Congress. Please send us any relevant IUCN workshops for our August newsletter.

  8. Recordings are now available from the 29th gathering of the Global Ecological Integrity Group, Global Governance and Ecological Integrity, held 28 June - 01 July, 2021.

If you would like to submit an EL&G-related project, conference, or publication announcement for our newsletter or if you would like to recommend a theme to be explored in the 2022 Webinar Series, or if you are an expert in a theme selected for 2021 and would like to be considered as a panelist, please contact us at elga@elgaworld.org.

We hope to see you at the webinar!

- ELGA Steering Committee

04/07 2021

Support Offer to Secondary School “On-campus Student-led Environment Clubs”

Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc. is pleased to offer its support to an existing secondary school on-campus student-led environment club or to help with the establishment of such as group.

“Environment clubs are often at the heart of a school’s sustainability activities and help achieve meaningful change within school communities. They inspire, motivate and give students opportunities to build leadership skills”

HOPE has an extensive list of environmental contacts, and a good library of resources which we are willing to share with students to help them with their efforts in promoting “sustainable living practices” to fellow students.

Interested students are asked to contact HOPE by phoning 4639 2135 or email office@hopeaustralia.org.au.

14/06 2021

Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) Micro Grant funding put to good use

Householders’ Option to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc. would like to acknowledge funds received from Toowoomba Regional Council’s Micro Grants program.

HOPE received $534.05 from the TRC Micro Grants Program to purchase much needed office consumables – namely 1 box of postage stamps, 12 cartons of photocopy paper and 3 mini-drives.

Mr Frank Ondrus, President – HOPE Inc. said “the photocopy paper will be used to print information sheets, brochures and the like which will be distributed to residents in Toowoomba Regional Council’s jurisdiction. And, the mini-drives will enable our volunteers to obtain copies of presentations from various meetings and events attended during the upcoming months and years.”

“Without this funding from Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC), HOPE would not have ben able to purchase these items so readily” said Mr Ondrus.

11/06 2021

Introductory article on HOPE’s “Eco-Social Work in Australia” (ESWA) Podcast series

The climate emergency, destruction of natural places and wildlife, and other, serious sustainability challenges continue to unfold around us. We are, however, seeing a heartening and positive response from vanguard professions and organisations as they start to make their own, significant contribution to addressing these problems, whilst also adapting to their consequences.

Social work practice in Australia offers an example of such a professional transition, as physical environmental concerns over climate disruption and environmental justice start to be incorporated into work with clients in an approach being termed ‘eco-social work.’ A new found physical environmental focus is also growing within the allied psychology and health care professions.

One of HOPE Australia’s members, Andrew Nicholson, a retired social worker, has produced a podcast series for HOPE Australia entitled Eco Social Work in Australia. The launch of this new series follows hard on the heels of a previous podcast series kindly auspiced by HOPE: After the Virus in S.E. Queensland which has received over 300 downloads since launch in late 2020.

The Eco Social Work in Australia series contains interviews with a range of Australian social work practitioners who give their personal perspectives on topics such as: training institution approaches to supporting eco-social work practice, and social work student experience of eco-social work-oriented placement. There is also discussion of how ecological economics and circular economy ideas might inform future social work practice, and the concept of grief response as a social work framing, to help understand and work with climate change denial and resistance.

As with the After the Virus series, a key objective of this podcast project is to help grow a conversation on eco-social work practice amongst listeners. The hope is that the series can make a small contribution to increasing the adoption of eco-social work approaches amongst social work colleagues, in their workplaces, professional groupings, and in networking with other allied professionals.

The Eco Social Work in Australia series is available now on: SPOTIFY, PODBEAN, and GOOGLE PODCASTS.

Media enquiries: Andrew Nicholson, mob: 0413 979 414 | email: anicholsona@optusnet.com.au

10/06 2021

Report on HOPE’s ‘After the Virus’ Podcast series

This is the final report on the HOPE Inc. (Australia) podcast series: After the Virus - talking about an innovative recovery from COVID-19 in South-East Queensland. The thirteenth and final episode has just been added – and the series has attracted over 300 downloads to date. The episodes will remain online until October 2021 after which they will be archived.

The series was produced between October 2020 and May 2021 in the context of the differential responses being made to the death, disruption and chaos caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as it continued to unfold around the world. We wanted to help showcase a range of ideas held by regional, South-East Queensland citizens which are supportive of the transition towards a more climate stable, environmentally sustainable, socially fair, and prosperous, low carbon economy in this part of the World.

We also wanted to frame such progressive regional ideas in the context of the best, pro-active responses to the pandemic internationally. Those responses are using lessons learned from dealing with the SARS-CoV-2 virus to tackle, simultaneously, public protection from the pandemic threat, as well as the bigger, longer term threats posed by climate breakdown, loss of natural places and wildlife, and other related sustainability risks. These pandemic lessons include the crucial roles of science informed risk assessment, strong government leadership and high-level financial support to ensure effective strategic responses to high level risks and threat of all kinds.

What was revealed in our podcast guest conversations is that we do not lack for innovative, forward-looking ideas for achieving a truly sustainable future in this part of Australia. Amongst many topics, guests talked about community owned renewable energy, waste control within a circular economy, more effective land manager engagement with climate change issues, climate smart agriculture, urban bushland restoration, social systems level reform, environmental law protections, and the use of art to help us process our reactions to disruptive events. Our guests provided their mini-visions and suggested paths forward to reach a preferred, sustainable future in this region.

The innovative ideas of our guests in the After the Virus series suggests we CAN create a preferred, prosperous, low carbon economy, which is climate safe, water secure, socially fair, and genuinely protective of our wildlife and natural places. Firstly though, we need to expand the conversation so that all of our regional citizens can contribute to developing a strong public vision of how they want to evolve as a sustainable regional community. This may help generate the community confidence to leave behind unsustainable, business as usual forms of development which are no longer fit for purpose. And we need to develop models of invigorated, truly participative democracy, to ensure that the collective public will and desire for a preferred future is fully implemented by governments.

We hope that this series has made a small contribution to achieving these important objectives and that listeners will follow the example of our guests to begin their own conversations about a preferred, sustainable, future, after the virus!

Visit Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc. website to listen to all podcasts -  www.hopeaustralia.org.au/resources/podcasts/ .

(Written by Andrew Nicholson, Senior Researcher – HOPE Qld)


26/05 2021

National Volunteer Week 17-23 May

We at HOPE would like to take the opportunity to thank all of our volunteers. As you know, HOPE is a not for profit environmental group run by volunteers. We would not have achieved the success we have without that help. We sincerely thank all our volunteers.

If you want to appreciate the impact that volunteering has on our society and our economy read the inaugural report.

As the report says "A volunteer is not your average person. A volunteer is a hero. Someone who sees beyond their own needs and places importance on the people and the world around them. It is because of the selfless acts of volunteers that our society is richer."

Visit the website: Volunteering Queensland

26/05 2021

Caring for Nature takes work!

From the carer’s point of view…

Bimblebox Nature Refuge occupies 8,000 hectares. Not huge by western Queensland measures, but to many minds almost inconceivably vast.

 Anyone who has cared for land of any size will know how much work is involved in trying to keep an eye out for new invading plants and then to try to keep them in check, year after year. Weeding, weeding, weeding…

When there is no carer, we see, for example, paddocks full of buffel grass or fireweed, and Crofton weed and lantana in overwhelming amounts in national parks and state forests. As Archie Roach sang, ‘The Australian bush is losing its identity…’

For the 22 years since the gazettal of Bimblebox Nature Refuge, it’s been mainly Ian Hoch doing that neverending work on those 8000ha. Paola is often needed on their sister property, and since 2007, greatly occupied with the fight to save the place from the coal threat. Occasional volunteers have helped, but there have never been enough.

Many who visit have offered advice on how to run or improve Bimblebox, often with grand plans, especially since that coal threat reared its head higher in late 2019.

The following thoughts and words of Ian’s express extremely well the many and varied needs of caring for the Refuge there… and why at least one other person helping would make a big difference. As Ian says, these visiting people need to see:  ‘the Bimblebox paradox – it’s everything and it’s nothing’.

‘Change comes one step at a time.’ If people can ‘…see this situation from the resident’s perspective, or at least some of it, or at least to think more about the reasons for historical failure rather than the prospects of future success. I could then say to each as they departed – rather than all the fanfare, the best way you can help is look out for that one person. Now you know how it is here and what’s missing. It’s not at all the postcard depicted by the artists and for the media or government or EDO. 

‘The missing bit is out there somewhere in the suburbs and you might be in a position to fill the gap. One person who can handle this domestic situation, and has a similar interest and has nothing better to do – that’s all we need right now, so starting today we go systematically around the property and catch the coffee senna and parkinsonia and this latest ghastly interloper with thorns to puncture a bullock hide, before they shed their 20 years worth of seed, and of course the horrid harrisia can’t be far away and with the advantage of bird dispersal in this jungle we’ll have a veritable nightmare when it arrives. 

‘After that we might even get some fencing in, secure the hotspot boundaries to avoid more strife with the neighbours, and run electric wires along roads so we can graze to reduce fire, or control burn without having the stock flog the pasture in that critical recovery phase. We might manage to rabbit proof this nursery, and make a start of thinning the century of thickening and ultimately show results to make developers everywhere wish like hell they’d never cleared their land. That’s when we arrive at the irrefutable conclusion – conservation pays, i.e., we’re far better off working in conjunction with nature than fighting with it. It’s an obvious and oft recited axiom but almost meaningless. We don’t see it around us. 

‘You have either production land or recreation land. One stripped, one struggling. Already the health and vitality from retaining diversity is becoming apparent driving around the boundary, but that’s due to the neighbours’ actions, or you might say overaction, rather than our deliberate or constrained inaction.

ox andmake the camp fully functional again for September, when the rains have come and the heath is a mass of colour. Then artists or visitors who want to come and camp and be energised and inspired by Nature at Bimblebox can do so again.

So please all think hard about whether you know someone who might be able to fill that volunteer role very soon and help Ian with this camp and other work. Caring for Nature takes work!

If you do, or may be able to volunteer yourself, please email Paola on bimblebox@gmail.com or call her on (07) 4985 3474

Guess which side of the fence is cared for?

"After the Virus" Podcast Series by HOPE Inc

Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE Australia) welcomes you to a new podcast series: After the virus – talking about an innovative recovery from COVID-19 in South-East Queensland. The series is produced by HOPE in the form of interviews of between 30 to 45-minute duration. Invited guests talk about a range of ways in which our region could become more sustainable as we move to control and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Flyer - HOPE Podcast series


17/03 2021



22/02 2021

World Cities Summit will go largely virtual from 21-23 June 2021

Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and global travel restrictions, the World Cities Summit (WCS), Singapore International Water Week (SIWW), and CleanEnviro Summit Singapore (CESG) will take on different formats this year, to safeguard the safety and well-being of our participants.

WCS 2021 will adopt a largely virtual format. From 21 to 23 June, audience members will be able to dial in remotely to join our global thought leaders at the various WCS dialogues and plenaries. This is the first time that WCS will be adopting a virtual format since its inauguration in 2008, and we look forward to this allowing a larger, and more international audience to join us remotely for WCS in June.

WCS will return to the in-person format in 2022, alongside SIWW and CESG, subject to prevailing COVID-19 guidelines. The dates of the events will be announced later.

For any questions, please get in touch with us at info@worldcities.com.sg.

Thank you.

Organisers of the World Cities Summit 2021

22/02 2021

PPCA Global Summit, 2-4 March 2021

We are pleased to invite you to the Powering Past Coal Alliance’s first virtual Global Summit on 2-4 March 2021, co-hosted by the UK and Canadian Governments, co-chairs of the PPCA and aimed to boost international commitment and cooperation to shift away from coal power generation ahead of the UN Climate Summit COP26 in November 2021.

• The Summit overview is available here

• The Summit Programme is available here

• Please fill out the Registration Form here

The Summit will be the year’s largest global gathering on coal power phase-out, bringing together leaders from national governments, regions and cities, financial institutions, energy companies and grid operators, academia and NGOs, youth and health organisations to share their experiences and best practices. The Summit will also provide an opportunity for those countries where coal phase-out represents a challenge to join expert discussion on ways in which they could consider a trajectory away from coal.

The Summit will open with a high-level plenary featuring top-level public officials from across the world, discussing action to phase out coal power and announcing new commitments. In addition to the plenary, the Summit will consist of a private strategy discussion and a series of interactive public sessions, focusing on grid transformation, private finance, just transition, financing early retirement of coal plants, meeting net-zero targets and planning for future power demand.

The Summit is organised in partnership with the PPCA members and partners: the governments of Denmark, Germany, France and the Netherlands, and BNEF, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Carbon Tracker Initiative, CCLA Investment Management, Just Transition Centre, National Grid, Pembina Institute and Rocky Mountain Institute.

We very much hope that you will be able to join us at the Summit. Together, we can work to encourage the world to phase out coal and accelerate climate action in a sustainable, just and inclusive way.


PPCA Secretariat

22/02 2021

Take Climate Action

Join Communiteer to tackle the climate crisis.

Communiteer is building a new virtual community of not-for-profits, volunteers and environmentally conscious corporates on our platform to focus on Climate Action.

22/02 2021

Take Climate Action Flyer


22/02 2021

Notification from ADSA

Two wonderful reports from the Dark & Quiet Conference, supported by the United Nations Office for Outer Space, International Astronomical Union, Noir Lab.

Check it out

15/01 2021

The Story of HOPE so far...


United Nations has proclaimed 2021:

  1. International Year of Peace and Trust (A/RES/73/338)
  2. International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development (A/RES/74/198
  3. International Year of Fruits and Vegetables (A/RES/74/244)
  4. International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour (A/RES/73/327)

10/11 2020

Footprint Calculator


HOPE Public Fund bank account now active and taking donations

I’m pleased to announced that the HOPE Public Fund bank account has been activated and is now taking donations.

We invite members and supporters to consider making an annual financial contribution to help cover our operating costs of approximately $20,500 p.a.

Currently, our income is derived from project grants, fund-raising, corporate sponsorship and donations, but falls well short of our requirements.

Your financial support, by donation, will considerably help us to achieve better financial viability.


Please visit our website at http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au/donations/ to make your financial donation to the financial well-being of our organsiation.

Our application to National Register of Environmental Organisations has been approved!

Great news! Our application for listing on the National Register of Environmental Organisations has been approved! Yahoo!! (21/04/2020)

And, our Deductible Gift Recipient Status (DGR) was confirmed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in the week ending 10 May 2020.

(See environment.gov.au/about-us/business/tax/register-environmental-organisations/listed-organisations)

We are now in a position to:

  • mount major fund-raising campaigns;
  • access a greater range of grants with DGR as a requirement; and
  • apply for corporate sponsorship.

As of 1 July 2020, HOPE members and supporters will be able to make ‘tax deductible’ donations via our website at www.hopeaustralia.org.au/donations/ - with receipts being issued on request.

The office will presently be:

  • searching the Internet for more grant funding opportunities; and
  • updating our Sponsorship Prospectus with the view of attracting funding to support our operational activities; and certain projects, campaigns, events and activities.

Yours sincerely,

Frank Ondrus, President – HOPE Inc., ph. 07 4639 2135

Kitchen or Cafe Conversations

Dear friends of the environment,

HOPE invites you to host your own “Kitchen or Cafe Conversations” discussing environmental issues of concern to you.

A 2018 study released by HP (Hewlett Packard) Australia and Plant Ark, stated that 91% of Australian consumers are concerned about the environment and sustainability, although only half of consumers and businesses think they do enough in their daily lives to address sustainable solutions to climate change.

It is evident that the Australian public is motivated to adopt changes in order to lessen their impact on the environment. What we need to do now is identify opportunities on how they can do that.

Through “Kitchen or Cafe Conversations” the aim is to mobilise individual action on environmental preservation by discussing critical environmental concerns and recommending what the average person can do to address that issue.

For example, if you think replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources is a key issue that should be at the forefront of conversation, then talk about it. Discuss your ideas on how the individual can address this issue – from lifestyle changes like driving and flying less or changing what you eat and buy, to advocating for system-wide change by writing a letter to your local MP to increase government subsidies for renewable energy.

So, if after your conversations(s) you feel strongly about a particular environmental issue, please consider writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper; and/or going a step further and writing to your local government councillor and state and federal members of parliament.

At the very least, put a post on your social media platforms, to share issues and outcomes.


For more information, contact:

Frank Ondrus, Office Manager – HOPE Inc., ph. 07 4639 2135 | office@hopeaustralia.org.au

Invitation to Partner with HOPE

Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc. is keen to link up with more like-minded environmental NGOs and others.

“Our success to date has been built on the good will of our partners,” says Mr Frank Ondrus, HOPE Inc. President. The support HOPE Inc. has received, with access to expertise and resources, has been critical to undertaking an ever-broadening range of environmental pursuits.

“Our partners include several key environmental organisations in Australia and overseas. We are committed to supporting each other”, says Mr Ondrus. The Partnership/Alliance program has ‘full membership’ and ‘associate membership’ available for those that wish to partner with us.

“Our mission is simple, yet ambitious, and we have made great gains so far. But to keep this momentum going, we need to continue building our relationships with more like-minded organisations and others”. Mr Ondrus urges everyone to get in touch at the earliest convenience, with contact details for any organisations that may be interested in partnering with HOPE Inc.

For information about the Partnership/Alliance program, check our website out here: www.hopeaustralia.org.au/home/partnershipsalliances-ngos/