Leading the way
WE LIVE IN THE best country on the planet. I truly believe this. And, in my role with AG, I get to share my love of Australia with our equally passionate readers. But do we love it enough? We’re aware of our impact on the natural environment. But we’re reluctant to change our behaviour, even when we know we’re damaging the very things that make our continent home so unique. If it was easy to do so, it’d be a no-brainer. But it’s not, because we need to be motivated to change habits.
Motivation needs inspiration, and at AG we champion individuals and organisations who show us the way. Dr Sylvia Earle is one such leader, a legend of deep-sea exploration and an articulate and impassioned defender of the oceans. I was privileged to meet her in Mexico late last year when I was invited to see a biodiversity hotspot that serves as a model of marine conservation (page 42).We were hosted there by Rolex, one of AG’s long-time advertising supporters that has featured on the back cover of every edition of the magazine since 2003. I’m particularly proud of our association with Rolex because it’s a company that has shown outstanding leadership in exploration and conservation, bringing the power of its respected global brand to environmental projects around the world and partnering with people who strive to achieve the extraordinary.The company lends practical support to initiatives such as Sylvia’s Mission Blue alliance as part of its commitment to safeguarding the future of the planet. The world needs more responsible corporate organisations such as this to stand up and be counted and I’m very happy to acknowledge that sort of support whenever we see it.
As custodians of possibly the greatest oceanic ecosystem on Earth, the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australians are also being called upon to show leadership, both personally and at the highest levels of decision-making in our response to multiple issues that threaten to overwhelm this iconic natural asset. Coral reefs are compelling indicators of ocean – and indeed planetary – health and recent mass bleaching events on the GBR demonstrate that global climate change is almost indisputably the biggest driver of changes now affecting what Sylvia calls “our life-support system”.
In this issue we examine the adverse changes taking place on the reef and meet some of the many people who are stepping up to manage the unfolding crisis.We make sense of the huge amount of data being produced and also include some simple changes you can make right now to contribute by reducing plastic pollution and making informed choices about the fish we eat.
They won’t dramatically change your life but, taken together by many of us, they may start the process of improving the planet’s future.
Heading out to Mexico’s Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park with legendary ocean conservationist Dr Sylvia Earle (at right).