In honour of National Biodiversity Month 2021 we are introducing you to Conservation Photojournalist, Paul Hilton.
Arnhem friend, and global environmental and conservation activist Paul Hilton, has spent his career as a photojournalist documenting some of the most heinous wildlife and environmental crimes on this planet. Having travelled the globe and returned to Australia, Paul remarks how he has come back to a 'country in crisis’ and questions why as a country we are cutting down more trees than any other first world country. Paul’s most recent work, a feature documentary called Kalamunda, explores the devastating ongoing loss of Australian forest and fauna.
In this narrated show of challenging, uplifting, provocative and revelatory images captured by Paul, he takes us on a journey behind the lens illustrating how our attitudes, decisions and actions as humans impact the natural world.
Some of the images in this film may cause upset: however, the truth is that they help to make it impossible for exploitative industries to deny the suffering and injustice too often kept out of the public consciousness.
WARNING: Graphic Images Ahead.
To find out more about Kalamunda Paul’s feature documentary head on over to the website here kalamunda.org
We also caught up with Paul's team to talk more about conservation and environmental issues. Below we chat with Meghan Halverson, responsible for Production of Kalamunda.
What are your thoughts on Australia's climate policy?
Currently, the National Climate Policy of Australia is weak and gives no assurance that we can meet necessary reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 as promised. We are being seen by the rest of the world, as a country lacking in commitment to climate change for our continued use of fossil fuels and coal.
Climate change, land use change, habitat destruction, fragmentation and degradation, as well as invasive species all contribute to the pressures effecting the Australian environment. The lack of commitment by the Australian Government has been demonstrated through continued reliance on a system that needs radical change in order to have any positive effect on reducing the climate crisis we now encounter.
What do you consider to be the biggest threat to biodiversity here in Australia?
The biggest threat to biodiversity in Australia is clearly habitat loss and fragmentation. The forests are the base for ecological health for many species including koalas and continued destruction of habitat will be the path to wildlife extinction if continued at its current rate. Ultimately, if we destroy the delicate ecological balance of a forest, humans will suffer greatly as we have already seen with continuing effects of climate change such as increased drought, fire and natural adverse weather effects.
How can government policy help mitigate biodiversity loss here in Australia?
As recently announced in Western Australia, one of the key ways to help mitigate biodiversity loss will be a commitment to stop the logging of native forests. WA has committed to doing so by 2024. If other States followed suit and we continued to regenerate forests connecting existing habitat, we could change the trajectory of biodiversity loss across the landscape as well as providing a base for improving climate action.
What can we do as individuals to take action?
Join a conservation group and get active in that group to collectively work out solutions to preserve, protect and enhance the biodiversity within your region. Plant trees, decrease your consumption of meat, be a conscious consumer and research who produces sustainable products from the food we eat, to the clothes we wear to the energy resources we use.
DONATE to an organisation that is making a difference for our forests and the flora and fauna within them.
Follow us and our story on instagram: @kalamundaofficial