This statement addresses the ongoing commitment of Australian psychologists to achieve a more adequate and useful understanding of how human beings and the natural environment affect each other, and strongly advocates for psychologists to be more substantively involved in addressing current and envisioned threats to the sustainability of the natural environment and its ecosystems, in Australia and globally.
Human behaviour is a major cause of environmental degradation, which in turn directly affects human health and wellbeing. Psychologists therefore have an integral and indispensable role to play in analysing and addressing linkages between people and environmental problems, and in finding achievable and effective solutions.
Australia is facing many environmental conservation, restoration, and management issues. National environmental threats which are particularly 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 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.