Posted by: Clean Up the World | 22/03/2011

Let’s not sacrifice our marine environment

In the past half billion years asteroid impacts and other natural events have caused five catastrophic mass extinctions of plants and animals.

Humans may be causing the sixth – and it’s our marine habitat that is most under threat.

Across the globe, research undertaken by the World Resources Institute and the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences has identified more than 530 low oxygen ‘dead zones’ and an additional 228 sites that are suffering from severe over fertilisation by nutrients.

Ecuador - San Cristobal Limpia

In the March issue of National Geographic, an article titled ‘Enter the Anthropocene Age of Man’ outlines the impact of a new geological era – one defined by our own massive impact on the planet.

Ours is an age where accelerated food production is creating far reaching side effects.

Fertilisers and pesticides make possible the high yields and flawless production we expect – but the nitrogen run-off is creating dead zones at the mouths of rivers worldwide.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, we currently have two internationally recognised dead zones here in Australia – both in the Tasman Sea, off south eastern Australia.

And the problem is not confined to our oceans. There are also a number of dead zones in Australian river systems, estuaries and coastal lagoons such as the Swan River in Western Australia and Gippsland Lakes in Victoria.

Spain - Ambiental en Espacios Naturales de la Region de Murcia

Nor are we immune to the effects over-fertilisation – point sources such as sewage treatment plants, intensive agriculture and industry contribute between 5 and 35% of nutrients entering our waterways.

And don’t let us forget the estimated 80% of the rubbish found in concentrated areas such as gyres that comes from land based sources.

A major source of this plastic is land based stormwater pollution.

Entanglement is the most obvious consequence. Starvation is also documented.

What is less well known is the impact of chemical toxicity associated with plastics as they break up into smaller and smaller pieces.

As we celebrate World Water Day, Clean Up the World members around the globe are working to address the problem of rubbish in our watercourses, on our beaches and in our oceans through clean ups and educational initiatives.

Emirates Diving Association, Japan Environmental Education Network, The Royal Marine Conservation Society of Jordan, Legambiente in Italy and Canto Ecologico in Brazil – are just a few examples of the many organisations working with their communities to address this issue.

In 2010 Australians registered 1400 Clean Up Sites on beaches and waterways. In 2011 they were again one of our hotspots. And the most common item removed is plastic.

A healthy economy depends on a healthy environment; so it is vital that we get better protection mechanisms in place for the lifeblood of our planet – our waterways and the marine life they support.

As we celebrate World Water Day, my mission is to change the outcome of the ‘Anthropocene Age of Man’ – from one of extinction of our marine habitat to one where protection is the only accepted benchmark.

Clean Up the World congratulates our members who are already conducting activities to clean up waterways and oceans and encourages your group to join them through to the Clean Up the World Weekend on 16-18 September.

Ian Kiernan AO

Posted by: Clean Up the World | 10/10/2010

Biodiversity beyond 2010

This year we witnessed another great Clean Up the World Weekend. Millions of volunteers rolled up their sleeves and took positive action for our planet by joining the more than 700 groups from 120 countries participating in Clean Up the World this year.

Together they transcended political and geographical boundaries to unite for a common goal – a cleaner and healthier planet, a brighter future for our children.

 

Maldives - ProDivers

 

This year we noticed a further shift in the type of activity being undertaken, and this got us thinking about where we’ve come from and where we’re headed.

When Clean Up the World started 18 years ago, our focus was on encouraging groups to clean up their community by removing rubbish supported by education about the 4R’s (refuse, reduce, reuse and recycle). These “clean up” activities remain powerful actions that unite communities, raise awareness of protecting our environment and deliver positive changes in litter and recycling behaviours right around the world. This is something we can all be proud of and should continue.

Reflecting our mission, clean ups have often evolved into activities that fix up and conserve the environment. Water restoration, tree planting and conservation are a few examples.

In 2010, with the focus on biodiversity, we saw a lot of our participants launch new initiates – with longer term activities to ensure a healthy, thriving natural environment in their local area.

In Spain, for example, local government group Programa de Voluntariado Ambiental en Espacios Naturales de la Region de Murcia, ran a biodiversity awareness campaign which included an exhibition on Murcia’s natural environment.

Operation Green Kumba conducted by Forestry & Environmental Conservation Society (FOECONS) saw 500 trees planted in the city of Kumba in Cameroon. The planting coincided with a radio program highlighting the importance of trees for habitat rehabilitation and reducing climate change.

A Kenyan community organisation, Community Based Environmental Conservation, works year-round to protect sea turtles. Over Clean Up the World Weekend, volunteers ran a lobbying campaign for sustainable fishing, nest protection and monitoring programs.

Volunteers gathered at the Jordan Valley Eco Park near Amman for an environmental education day. The Australian Embassy, in conjunction with the Friends of the Earth Middle East, conducted a clean up and learnt about how this park is being brought back to life by re-introducing indigenous plants and building walking paths for visitors that protect and raise awareness of the local fauna and flora.

 

Jordan - Australian Embassy

 

I encourage all our participants to continue and expand on these fix up activities. This will help us ensure that the attention on biodiversity extends beyond 2010 and that we are focussed on restoring and protecting our precious environment for years to come.

Whole plant and animal species are disappearing at a faster rate than any other time in human history. Our unsustainable methods of consumption, destruction of habitats, expanding cities, pollution, deforestation, and climate change are all contributing to their extinction.

Communities working in partnership with Clean Up the World, are in a strong position to be a driving global force in turning biodiversity loss around.

Preventing and removing waste from the environment is an important first step, as that stops the accumulation of pollution. Protecting and preserving our environment is the next stage.

Imagine the positive impact we’ll make to the planet by keeping our focus on protecting, restoring and promoting nature. It all comes down to caring – caring for nature, caring for our communities and caring for the next generations to come.

This fills me with a great sense of hope and inspiration. I hope you will join us on this important journey – to win the race against biodiversity extinction.

Ian Kiernan AO

Posted by: Clean Up the World | 22/07/2010

The power to protect or destroy

What does the Mustela lutreola, Pristis zijsron and Cryosophila williamsii all have in common? Aside from strange names, these are all species on IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species.

A century ago, the Mustela lutreola or European Mink could be found throughout the European continent. Now, its population is greatly reduced and the mink exists mainly in Eastern Europe. Habitat loss and over-hunting are likely to have contributed to the decline.

The Pristis zijsron or Narrowsnout Sawfish is a large and unusual ray found in the northern Indian Ocean around Southeast Asia and Australia, and in the western Pacific Ocean. Due to its large size and the toothed saw, it easily becomes entangled in fishing nets and, as a result, this species has declined severely.

And the Cryosophila williamsii or Root-spine Palm, which was once found in rainforests of the Lago Yojoa watershed, is now close to extinct in the wild and is restricted to a small area of west-central Honduras. Deforestation due to increasing agriculture, settlement and logging was the cause.

These three sad stories all have a common element that has led to these species becoming close to extinction. That common element is us. People. We are part of nature’s rich diversity and we have the power to protect or destroy it. It’s time for us to act to prevent any more nature loss.

How?

Clean Up the World Weekend on 17 – 19 September advocates the power to protect. It’s a weekend for celebrating participants year-round environmental achievements or organising a local activity.

This year, in support of the United Nation’s 2010 International Year of Biodiversity, we are encouraging participants to focus on protecting biodiversity in their community – that’s protecting the variety and wonder of plant and animal life.

From cleaning up local parks to implementing water saving programmes, tree planting to awareness raising events, each Clean Up the World activity protects, restores and/or promotes nature. It’s the power to protect on a global scale.

Hundreds of members, mobilising over 35 million volunteers from 120 countries, will participate in this year’s Clean Up the World Weekend. Each year, I am newly inspired by the lengths people are willing to go to protect the environment for our future generations.

The Union for Sustainable Development EcoVision in Georgia for example ran a biodiversity picnic earlier in the year, with some 2,000 participants, to educate on biodiversity issues in the country, and the world. On Clean Up the World Weekend they’ll continue their education campaign and run clean up and recycling initiatives.

Davao Reef Divers Club focuses on the preservation of the underwater environment in the Philippines and organises clean up dives each Clean Up the World Weekend.

What will you do to help protect plant and animal life in your community?

By registering a Clean Up the World Weekend activity you’ll join us in supporting the International Year of Biodiversity.

The activity you choose is up to you. Be it restoring a local waterway or a regeneration project, we believe you know best what needs to be done locally. And whatever you decide, we’ll support you by providing information and resources to help plan, promote and gain support for your activity.

The more registrations, the more noise we make, the more we will galvanize others to take action.

And the more people that take action, the greater chance our children and our children’s children have of marvelling at the European Mink, the Narrowsnout Sawfish, and the Root-spine Palm. all part of the amazing diversity of life on our planet.
We have the power to protect and act. Register and join us.
Ian Kiernan AO

Posted by: Clean Up the World | 04/06/2010

Strong partnerships, bigger impact on the environment

As we approach World Environment Day, it’s a good time to reflect on the value of partnerships. World Environment Day is about advocating partnerships and creating positive environmental change, and so are we.

20 years ago I was a young guy with passion for the environment and a good idea to turn this passion into action. 20 years on, I’m not as young but I still have the passion and now have a solid understanding of what turns a good idea into reality.

It’s through the relationships we build with like-minded people and organisations that we create positive change.

The Clean Up the World campaign is held in conjunction with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). They helped the campaign get started in 1993, and have stood shoulder to shoulder with us ever since.

From our beginnings in Sydney, Australia, Clean Up the World is now in over 120 countries around the world. An estimated 35 million people volunteer their time, energy and enthusiasm for a better environment each year.

We still partner with UNEP on a global level but equally as important are the alliances we’ve formed with our participants at a local level.  Through being part of Clean Up the World, participants have joined a global network who work to protect the environment for current and future generations. For this, I thank them.

This World Environment Day, we’ll officially be launching our Clean Up the World Activity Report which summaries the achievements of the campaign and its participants in 2009.

In the report, we also recognise the importance of partners in achieving our mission to clean up, fix up and conserve the environment.  It is with the support of our 2009 partners – UNEP, Brambles, Qantas, the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Armor and Marriott International, Inc. – that we can provide the best information and resources for our participants to carry out environmental activities across the globe.  Our partners also work to promote awareness by spreading the Clean Up message amongst their networks, contributing to the growth of the campaign each year.

As I read the report, I am newly inspired. Together, what a difference we have made. Across 124 countries, communities planted trees, cleaned up villages, overhauled entire countries, launched recycling and energy conservation programmes and ran awareness raising activities.

In the end the planet will be saved by the actions we take as organisations and as individuals. I encourage you to read the report to see what our partner organisations and participants did for the planet last year.

2010 is shaping up to be bigger and better. As the campaign is entering its eighteen year, we are again looking forward to working with our worldwide network of participants and volunteers to build on the success of 2009 and past years.

At Clean Up the World this year we’re supporting the UN’s 2010 International Year of Biodiversity and are calling for communities to care for nature this Clean Up the World Weekend (17 – 19 September). We hope our report inspires you to get involved. By participating, you’ll inspire others to take action so wherever in the world you are, join us to protect and promote biodiversity in your community.

Clean Up the World demonstrates that the best environmental results come through building strong partnership. I’d like to thank all our partners and participants – the positive contribution you have made to the environment is something we can all be proud of.

Ian Kiernan AO

Posted by: Clean Up the World | 15/04/2010

Communities Caring for Nature

The world we live in is an amazing place. From the deepest ocean depths to the highest mountain peaks, life is everywhere. Whilst estimates vary, the total number of species on this great planet of ours is about 13 million – with only about 1.75 million having been identified. Looking the enormous diversity of life, it’s hard not to feel awe.

International Year of Biodiversity

These diverse life forms are essential to our survival. They provide our food, our fuel, our medicines and our livelihoods. And if just one species suffers a decline or disappears entirely, there’s a knock-on effect.

Unfortunately, much of life on this planet is under threat. In fact, it is disappearing off the planet today faster than at any other time in human history.

Our unsustainable methods of production and consumption, destruction of habitats, expanding cities, pollution, deforestation, and global warming are all contributing to the extinction of species.

As humans are responsible for this threat and will ultimately suffer if species are lost, it’s up to us to stop, look around, and act to protect and promote biodiversity in our place.

At Clean Up the World this year we’re celebrating the International Year of Biodiversity and calling for communities to care for nature. Join us and take local action to protect and promote biodiversity in your community.

We think our 18th year will be our best yet. Here’s why.

Clean Up the World 2010 Theme - Communities Caring for Nature

Clean Up the World 2010 Theme

The Clean Up the World campaign is held in partnership with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). That makes us, and our participants, part of a global network with access to the best information and resources and the ability to use them to carry out environmental activities.

In over 120 countries around the world, an estimated 35 million people like you will be volunteering for a Clean Up the World group and doing their bit to conserve biodiversity in their communities. If you participate in this year’s campaign your group might be planting trees, cleaning up a park or beach, recycling waste, conserving water or undertaking environmental awareness raising or education initiatives.

To help, we’ll supply your group with information and resources to help plan, promote, gain support and volunteers for your activity. Hopefully, you’ll be inspired by the global network of people who, like you, have joined Clean Up the World to do something positive for the planet.

However, we won’t be telling you what activities your group should undertake – it’s up to your community to decide. That’s because we believe you know best what needs to be done to help care for nature in your space.

You can keep us up to date and find out about all the activities being undertaken in support of Clean Up the World by visiting http://activities.cleanuptheworld.org

I look forward to learning about your creativity, your energy and your ability to mobilise your community for the benefit of the planet and us all.

Wherever in the world you are, if your group has conducted any environmental activities in your community, we’d love to hear about them.

And have you join Clean Up the World this year.

www.cleanuptheworld.org

Ian Kiernan AO

Posted by: Clean Up the World | 01/10/2009

Clean Up the World Weekend – communities united

Across the globe, community groups joined together to address the world’s key environmental challenges as part of the Clean Up the World Weekend, 18-20 September.

In the Philippines, the Center for Global Warming Studies held a two-day youth forum to encourage youth to think of creative and practical ways of addressing climate change.

In Africa, Environment Africa organised a walk through the streets to raise awareness of how people can unite to combat climate change.

In Malaysia, the World Youth Foundation planted trees, ran education campaigns and cleaned up around the local beaches.

And in the UK, the SHWAP Volunteer Group spent a day providing a local reserve with some much needed TLC.

It is always inspiring to see communities uniting for a common cause, and when that cause is to help combat the effects of climate change it’s even more moving.

APAC - Philippines - Senior Scouts of Jose J. Leido Jr. MNHS

APAC - Philippines - Senior Scouts of Jose J. Leido Jr. MNHS

Climate change is and will continue to play a dramatic role in our global future.

Environmental protection, as well as being about the here and now, is also about those down the track – the next generation of our own families and those who come to live on your street and the next generation of wildlife that inhabits the environment which sustain us all.

It’s also about coming together as a group. Individually we can all make a difference, but it’s when we unite that the big changes occur.

Argentina - Jardin de Infantes N° 118

Argentina - Jardin de Infantes N° 118

What the participants across the Clean Up the World Weekend achieved wasn’t simply a few less rubbish items in our environment or a few more trees in the local park – it was much bigger than that. It was a cleaner environment, a healthier landscape, a more informed global nation. It was a step towards a brighter, healthier future – one without the catastrophic effects of climate change.

Spain - Sociedade Galega de Historia Natural Delegación Ferrol

Spain - Sociedade Galega de Historia Natural Delegación Ferrol

The Clean Up the World Weekend provides a focal point and directs everyone’s attention to what needs to be done, but it’s not just about one weekend a year; it’s about making a commitment every day to improving our environment. Clean Up the World groups don’t just take part on the flagship weekend, there are activities happening all year-round. There are workshops, clean ups, tree plantings, recycling and waste initiatives held. You name it, if it means a healthier environment, Clean Up the World participants are doing it.

Trinidad and Tobago - Mayaro Environmental Wave

Trinidad and Tobago - Mayaro Environmental Wave

I’d like to thank every single one of the organisers and volunteers in over 110 countries that have taken the time to be part of Clean Up the World in 2009. Your leadership on the behalf of the environment is invaluable.

And to those that haven’t got involved yet, there is still time to join Clean Up the World this year. Jump onto www.cleanuptheworld.org and register your group as part of Clean Up the World. There are things we can do all year round to make a difference. Our planet is depending on us.

Read about and get inspired by examples of Clean Up the World activities by going to http://activities.cleanuptheworld.org

Russian Federation - Scouts of Michurinsk

Russian Federation - Scouts of Michurinsk

Ian Kiernan AO

Posted by: Clean Up the World | 17/09/2009

Youth & climate change – the future in safe hands

I was one of those fortunate kids who spent much of my youth in the outdoors – sailing, exploring the bush , swimming with my mates. It’s what made my childhood so memorable. What worries me about climate change is that it’s impact could take these precious experiences away from our kids.

Unless we take action to address the causes of climate change now, that’s exactly what will happen – our grandchildren, and their children won’t have the pleasure of enjoying those things that I consider to be some of the best parts of my life in the same way that I did.

We’re already seeing the effects of climate change across the globe– widespread melting of glacial ice, rising air and sea temperatures, and increasing sea levels.

These changes have the potential to rob our youth in many countries of not just the pleasure of experiencing their natural environment, but also basic needs such as shelter, food and drinking water.

The good news is that we can do something before it becomes a problem our future generations have to face alone.

And I believe we should be looking to our children for inspiration, because while our youth are not responsible for escalating climate change, many of them are leading the way in showing us how to address it.

Clean Up the World Weekend: Papua New Guinea - The Ela Murray International School

Clean Up the World Weekend: Papua New Guinea - The Ela Murray International School

I’ve spent much of my time as the Chairman of Clean Up the World and Clean Up Australia visiting schools, talking to children about the state of our environment and what we can do to protect it.

These days however, I find that its me who’s doing the learning. I’m increasingly inspired by the depth of knowledge of the issues we face, the innovative ideas offered and the actions our kids are taking to reduce their impact.

More and more often I find myself fielding in depth questions and suggestions about the causes and solutions to our environmental problems. It gives me great confidence that the future of our environment is in good hands.

The World Organization of the Scout Movement, connecting with 28 million Scouts in 160 countries, has joined up as Clean Up the World Ally. That’s a demonstration that youth worldwide are leading the way, showing their commitment to the environment.
Scouts who are part of their National Scout Organisations in countries including  Algeria, Australia, Cote D’ivoire, France, Guyana, Japan, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Seychelles, Singapore, and Uganda are participating in Clean Up the World this year.

These youth, when they’re sitting around telling stories to their grandchildren, will be able to say that they played their part in helping combat climate change.  But what about the adults of today? Will you be able to look back with confidence and say you did your best to protect the planet for our future generation?

Mexico - Ecologia y Reciclaje de Sonora

Mexico - Ecologia y Reciclaje de Sonora

I want the next generations of the Kiernan family – of all families – to be able to experience the things I was fortunate enough to enjoy when I was growing up. I don’t want our native wildlife to be something they only read about in books and I don’t want days spent playing outdoors to be a part of history. The potential future consequences of climate change are profound – I don’t want this to be our legacy for future generations.

Our children are tomorrow’s leaders, they’re the ones who’ll be setting the pace in the future and judging by what I’m seeing from them now, it looks like they’ll be making the environment a priority when their time comes. In the meantime, it’s up to the rest of us to make sure the planet we leave them is one on which they can live , not just exist.

Ian Kiernan AO

Posted by: Clean Up the World | 15/09/2009

Waste and Climate change – the importance of recycling

Someone asked me the other day what the point of recycling is? We spend our time diligently separating our recyclables from our non-recyclables and putting them in the correct bins, but does it really make a difference to the big picture?

The simple answer is yes, it does.

We’ve all heard of the three R’s – reduce, re-use and recycle. Recycling is the last resort. Avoiding unnecessary packaging and purchases should be our first priority and re-using items where possible is the next best thing. But, if once you’ve reduced your waste and reused whatever you can, you’re still left with something that needs to be disposed of, if it’s recyclable, make sure it gets recycled – it will decrease your contribution to climate change.

Many of us do recycle and we all know how big a problem climate change is, but I think we often forget the two are related.

Take for example that moment when you’re faced with the decision as to what to do with your rubbish. If you put that bottle or container in the recycling bin, it makes its way to a recycling depot where it is crushed, broken, re-processed and turned into something new.

On the other hand, if you put it in a general rubbish bin the journey is much different. From there it goes straight to landfill, where it becomes a lost resource. That means new materials, and therefore more emissions, are used to create brand new products. While manufacturing goods from recycled materials still requires energy, it is much less than extracting, processing, and transporting virgin raw materials.

Things such as glass and plastics can be recycled scores of times, which means that as well as stopping the rubbish piling up in our landfills, the emissions created and the resources used to produce brand new products are spared.

It may seem inconsequential at the time, but simply improving your purchasing and recycling habits can add up to huge environmental benefits. In fact:

•    The energy saved by recycling one plastic drink bottle will power a computer for 25 minutes.
•    Recycling a glass jar saves enough energy to light a bulb for four hours
•    Recycling one tonne of plastic saves enough energy to run a refrigerator for a month

Clean Up the World members have realised the importance of recycling. In fact, Clean Up the World Member reciclaje ecologico help create a culture of recycling though activities such as re-using objects in new ways – including creating plant holders containing local species of cactus from old shoes, toys and footballs.

Mexico - Ecologia y Reciclaje de Sonora

Mexico - Ecologia y Reciclaje de Sonora

Other activities focused on recycling include those being carried out in Argentina, Brazil, Cameroon, China, Colombia, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Paraguay, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.

It would be easy to throw our hands up in the air and say the environmental challenges that face us are all too hard, but the reality is they’re not. As these Clean Up the World members are proving, there are things we can all do – simple things like making the right choices when we shop and recycling – that will make a difference.

Climate change is a massive global problem that requires action at all levels. We can’t always control what our politicians do on environmental issues, but we can control what we do in our own homes. So next time you’re complaining about separating your recyclables from your non-recyclables, think about the bigger picture. Everything we do makes a difference – even simple things like putting that empty bottle and container in the recycling bin.

Ian Kiernan AO

Posted by: Clean Up the World | 03/09/2009

Marine debris – the hidden global problem

Marine debris is a truly global problem – we are all dumping on each other. Plastic bags dumped in Western Australia have been found on the east coast of South Africa and a bottle dropped off the South African coast can just as easily end up in Mozambique.

It’s also a problem that suffers greatly from being “out of sight, out of mind”.

Back in 1986 I became acutely aware of the problem when I competed in the BOC round-the-world solo yacht race. The conditions, the physical challenge and the solitude made a lasting impression on me, but it was the rubbish carpeting once clean, majestic oceans that really changed my life.

Fridges, computers, bottles, fishing line, chip packets, televisions – you name it, it ends up in our oceans. In fact, just off the coast of Hawaii is a plastic gyre twice the size of Britain where the water is filled with six times as much plastic as plankton.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) recently released the first ever study of the impact of marine debris across the world’s oceans. The report “Marine Litter: A Global Challenge” found that plastic, especially plastic bags and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, are the most pervasive type of marine litter debris on the planet and that plastic makes up over 80 per cent of all rubbish found in several seas worldwide.

Now that’s obviously a major issue for our natural environment, but it’s also a serious concern for our marine life, such as whales, turtles and dolphins, and our seabirds. The journey for a piece of rubbish from supermarket aisle to the middle of the ocean is often a lethal one. Along the way many marine life fatally mistake the dumped plastic for food. In fact, according to UNEP, plastic is accountable for the deaths of more than a million seabirds and more than 100,000 marine mammals such every year.

It’s the things we’ve become so addicted to – plastics and the other things we use once and discard – that are spoiling our oceans. In fact, as much as 80 per cent of the marine debris in coastal waters and the deep oceans originates from our land-based activities. That means by adopting the refuse, reduce, reuse and recycle approach in our day-to-day living, we’ll go a long way to tackling the problem.

Clean Up the World members and volunteers are helping to combat the visible consequences of our addiction by undertaking activities such underwater clean ups, beach clean ups, marine debris education programs and marine debris monitoring projects in countries including Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cayman Islands, Fiji, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Korea (Republic Of), Kuwait, Liberia, Malaysia, Maldives, New Zealand, Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Trinidad And Tobago, and United Arab Emirates. See the full list of activities here

One of our ambassadors, David de Rothschild, is also helping to tackle the problem. Along with a crew of adventurers and scientists, David is preparing to sail across the Pacific in the Plastiki – a 60-foot catamaran made from reclaimed plastic bottles – to highlight the ecological damage being done to the world’s oceans. Keep an eye out for it.

Beating our addiction is not going to be easy, but we must take action together to ensure our oceans remain healthy and our save our marine life.

Ian Kiernan AO

Posted by: Clean Up the World | 21/08/2009

Climate change – the challenge

In December this year, global leaders will meet in Copenhagen to agree the way forward on one of the biggest challenges facing our generation – climate change.

While this meeting is a crucial step in the global fight against climate change, it is certainly not the only step which needs to be taken. In addition to the international agreement we entreat our political leaders to negotiate, we need to band together as a global community to take real and local action starting right now.

The International Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007 found that unless we take action now we could potentially be facing:
•    by 2020 – 60 per cent of our Great Barrier Reef will be bleached
•    by 2050 – 50 per cent of agricultural lands in Latin America are likely to suffer desertification and salinisation
•    by 2080 – between 25 – 40 per cent of mammal species in national parks and sub-Saharan Africa will become endangered

And unless we take action globally islands such as Tuvalu will be told within the myths and legends of future generations

The solution is in our hands and we need to act now.

Sixteen years ago Clean Up the World, formed a partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme. Since then we have actively inspired and empowered people from all across the globe to take environmental action. It has since grown to engage an estimated 35 million individuals in over 120 countries, all heeding the call for urgent action.

Those 35 million people know every one of us has a duty to preserve and protect the environment in which we are just temporary occupants.

They understand that if we are to leave our children and grandchildren an intact ecological, social and economic system the one cannot be achieved without the other.

That 35 million want action, they know we need govern Read More…

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