Natural Environment Award

Recognises those who are committed to conserving NSW’s unique biodiversity.

This award recognises and celebrates conservation leadership striving to protect and preserve NSW’s precious natural environment, including our ecosystems, threatened species (both plants and animals), natural habitats, land and soil and water resources.

2018 Green Globe Award joint winners

Australian Museum: Australian Museum FrogID Project

Harnessing the enthusiasm of citizen scientists, mixing it with the community’s love of frogs, and connecting with frog experts has helped the Australian Museum create Australia’s first national frog count.

FrogID is a scientific rescue mission that everyone can join.

People can record frog calls with nothing more than a smartphone. The calls – 25,000 and still growing – are being verified by museum scientists, achieving more records in six months than any traditional methods have captured in an entire year.

Frogs are amongst the most endangered animals on the planet. Australia has more than 240 species of frog, almost all found nowhere else in the world. Some species flourish, including the Striped Marsh Frog. But others have declined dramatically since the 1980s and four have become extinct. Across the world, 42% of amphibian species are currently threatened with extinction as a result of habitat loss, predators, pollution, disease and climate change.

With the data being collected, the museum is tracking cane toads, identifying where frogs are thriving and where they aren’t, and matching calls to weather and habitat.

It’s part of learning how different frog species are responding to a changing environment and working together to save our beautiful frog species from extinction.

Lord Howe Island Board: Lord Howe Island Weed Eradication Project

Person participating in the weed eradication project on Lord Howe Island with ocean in the backgroundInvasive weeds are identified as one of the greatest threats to the unique oceanic island ecosystem of Lord Howe Island, the world’s most southerly true coral reef.

Protecting the resident and migratory plants and animals from invasive weeds is a long-term plan. The Weed Eradication Project is part of a 30-year holistic ecological restoration program to protect and improve the island’s World Heritage environment.

Of its 239 native species, nearly half are endemic. After 15 years the project is really gaining momentum, showing the power of long-term commitment to delivering tangible and cumulative environmental outcomes. There has been an 80% reduction in target weeds, 10 species have been completely eliminated and 20 more are close. Many hours have been spent removing more than 2.4 million weeds.

The Lord Howe Island Board recognises not only the scientific contribution to this effort, but also the work of the local community in monitoring and removing pest species.

Finalist

Greater Sydney Local Land Services / Oceanwatch Australia: Living Shorelines

Greater Sydney Local Land Services / Oceanwatch Australia team next to a riverbankOysters. Those delicate crustaceans that bring joy to food lovers and are such an important environmental contributor, particularly to regional economies.

Greater Sydney Local Land Services is a government agency that works with regional farmers, landholders and communities on beneficial environmental management. It has partnered with Oceanwatch Australia, to support a healthy and productive marine environment working alongside the seafood industry.

Their partnership, Living Shorelines, recognises that oysters are an essential part of the ecosystem.

However, natural oyster reefs have steadily disappeared from our coastline since European settlement. Living Shorelines investigated overseas success in recreating oyster reefs. Plastic was being used successfully to bag oyster shell waste, which is created by the tonne in Australian oyster farms and restaurants. Oyster spawn recognises this waste and will use it to create new colonies.

This was seen as a solution – but further investigation revealed that oyster shell waste can be contained in biodegradable bags.

As this process becomes accepted, potentially more oysters can be grown, boosting regional economies and diverting shell waste from landfill – so far, it has prevented 10.5 tonnes of waste oyster shell going to landfill with huge potential to reclaim more.