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Protection for the Coral Sea expanded


Regulatory Area: Biodiversity, marine Jurisdiction: Australia

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has received international endorsement to extend the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA). The International Maritime Organization (IMO) agreed to the arrangement at their May meeting in London, which will add 565, 000 square kilometres to the protected area.

The area is located in the south-west portion of the Coral Sea, and lies within Australia's exclusive economic zone, which is protected under national environmental legislation. 341 species in the coral sea have been listed for conservation, including many endangered and vulnerable species. The area also houses a large number of significant ship wrecks.

The extension of the protected area will include three Associated Protective Measures that aim to protect significant features from damage by international shipping. The measures include a new Area to be Avoided, and the establishment of two supporting two-way routes.

The following video, produced by AMSA in March 2015, details the proposed extension.

For more information, read the official media release from the office of the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development.

Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge: Open now


Regulatory Area: Wildlife Jurisdiction: International

Applications for the Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge are now open, with submissions closing on June 30 2015.

The Challenge offers Grand Prizes of up to $500,000 for innovative science and technology solutions that can help to stamp out trafficking of terrestrial and marine wildlife.

This clever global initiative responds to the increasingly organised and technologically sophisticated nature of illegal wildlife trade, and an understanding that current conservation models are no longer providing adequate protection.

The Challenge aims to unearth bold new solutions that will help to stem the slaughter of world wildlife. The organisers reference the range of animals being pushed towards extinction, such as elephants, rhinos, tigers, pangolins, turtles, and parrots, as clear evidence for needing new approaches. They also highlight the significant human toll from illegal wildlife trade, with more than 1000 rangers losing their lives protecting wildlife over the past 10 years.

Submissions will be taken from non-government agencies and individuals world-wide, and can relate to four focus areas:

  • Detecting wildlife trafficking transit routes;
  • Strengthening forensic evidence;
  • Reducing consumer demand;
  • Tackling corruption.
  • The Challenge is an initiative of USAID, in partnership with National Geographic, the Smithsonian and TRAFFIC.

    Visit the Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge website for more information.

    Keynote announcement: 2015 AELERT Conference


    We're excited to announce our Keynote Speaker for the 2015 AELERT Conference: Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator with the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

    Assistant Administrator Giles leads the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance at US EPA, whose role is to enforce environmental laws and advance environmental justice. Cynthia is passionate about moving compliance programs into the 21st Century, and has gained a wealth of experience while heading up the EPA's Next Generation Compliance program.

    Stay tuned as we continue to announce more wonderful speakers!

    Concreter's disregarded $360 fine turns into a $19,000 penalty


    Regulatory Area: Pollution Jurisdiction: South Australia

    A South Australian builder has been penalised over $19,000 after he disregarded a clean-up order, and challenged a $360 fine, both issued by the Environment Protection Authority South Australia.

    Mr Hanley illegally disposed of concrete by pouring it on private property in Kidman Park, South Australia, in July 2014. The daughter of the landowner observed the concrete being poured and asked him to stop, before taking photos of the incident and calling the police.

    EPA SA issued an Environmental Protection Order for Mr Hanley to clean up the property, along with a $360 fine. Mr Hanley did not complete cleaning up the property, and later challenged the fine in court.

    The Crown consequently charged Mr Hanley with two offences pursuant to the Environment Protection Act 1993 (SA), and was found guilty on both counts. Mr Hanley chose not to appear in court. On the illegal dumping count, The Judge took Mr Hanley's lack of contrition into account during sentencing, along with the distress and inconvenience caused to the landowner and the landowner's daughter. In Judge Cole's sentencing she called the disposal of waste in this manner as "nothing more or less than a blithe disregard of other people's rights in pursuit of an inexpensive option". Mr Hanley was accordingly penalised $16000. In addition, Mr Hanley was fined $3000 for disregarding an environmental protection order, and ordered to pay the prosecution costs.