- Australia’s wildfires have burned through an area the size of Greece since September.
- Scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London are helping with emergency seed collection in areas devastated by the bushfires.
- Seed specimens are being stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, a big underground freezer, which already contains 41,000 different species.
Elizabeth Howcroft, Editorial Trainee, Reuters
- Sydney and surrounding areas have seen the biggest sustained run of rainfall for 30 years.
- The rain has doused some bushfires and replenished depleted dams.
- But flooding has also caused travel chaos, power cuts and school closures.
Jonathan Barrett-Writer, Reuters
Australia needs to pull its weight when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to 274 of the country’s leading climate, fire and weather scientists who penned an open letter to the nation’s policy makers on Monday.
The bushfires now ravaging Australia’s flora, fauna and rural communities on an unprecedented scale underline the country’s exceptional vulnerability to global heating and its strong interest in global climate change mitigation and adaptation. Decarbonisation should be taken as an economic opportunity and it could elevate Australia’s leading role in Asia for years to come.
Author: Andrew Walter, University of Melbourne
The sheer scale of India defines for it a significant role upon the global stage, however well it’s doing economically or politically. While its growth a few years back promised a bright trajectory of development that would have seen it begin to emulate the economic success of China in three or four decades — confirming India’s status as an economic superpower — its growth has tanked, slipping back to the lowest rate in more than six years.
Author: Editorial Board, ANU
Australia–Timor-Leste relations are back on track
Author: Michael Leach, Swinburne University of Technology
In the aftermath of the Bourke Street attack in Melbourne last month, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced two updates to Australia’s citizenship laws: increasing power to revoke the citizenship of dual nationals, and a period of exclusion from re-entry of foreign fighters returning to Australia.
Fractious domestic politics have made it all but impossible for the country to formulate coherent policy on critical regional and global issues.
Dr Bates Gill
After changes of leadership and of government in Canberra, those of us who work on Pacific island issues are usually inclined to be optimistic. We hope that the incoming Australian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister might care more about the Pacific, might be inclined to spend more time in the region, might have more empathy with their Pacific island counterparts and might develop constructive policies.