This statement addresses the ongoing commitment of Australian psychologists to achieve a more adequate and useful understanding of the reciprocal impacts of people and the natural environment, and strongly advocates for a more substantive involvement by psychologists in addressing current and envisioned threats to the sustainability of the natural environment and its ecosystems, in Australia, and globally. Environmental degradation is in large part caused by human behaviours and directly affects human health and well being. Because of this psychologists have an integral and indispensable role to play in analysing and addressing linkages between people and environmental problems and finding achievable and effective solutions (e.g., Oskamp, 2000a,b; Stern, 2000a,b; Winter, 2000).

Australia is faced with many environmental conservation, restoration, and management issues. National environmental threats which are particularly consequential and daunting include water scarcity and quality, salination, soil loss, the impacts of extractive industries such as logging and mining, land clearing, habitat loss, biodiversity loss, and natural disasters. Global environmental changes, shortages, and threats which are directly impacting on the Australian natural environment include climate change and its consequences; population growth and pressures; industrial and agricultural development; consumption patterns and processes; air, land, and water pollution; imminent exhaustion of fisheries stocks; deforestation; dramatically increasing global ‘development’ needs; diminishing fossil fuel reserves; and ecosystem disturbance and damage generally. 

Documents

Psychology and the natural environment - Acrobat icon - small (183kb)