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Australian Environment Foundation

Country: Australia


Australian Environment Foundation Grows Roots

Conservative Environmental Organization Promotes Sustainable Resource Use

The Australian Environment Foundation was founded by the Institute of Public Affairs, a conservative think tank based in Melbourne. The Foundation launched on World Environment Day in 2005. Several employees of the Institute of Public Affairs have been among the chairs of the AEF, including Jennifer Marohasy, the director of the environmental unit of the Institute for Public Affairs. One of the group's initial concerns was that resources were being taken away from the timber industry. Since then, it has published and lobbied for diverse interests such as biotechnology and nuclear power.

Focus of Activities

Voicing Concerns About Australian Environmental Policy

AEF Focuses on Managing Ecosystems for People and Wildlife

The Australian Environment Foundation is a membership-based organization, founded out of concern that the diverse voices of Australians were not being heard in other environmental organizations. To that end, the Australian Environment Foundation works to involve those who use resources and care for the environment. Its members believe that resource use and an environmental ethic are compatible ideologies.

The focus of AEF's work is on the science and solutions to environmental issues. It promotes decision-making that weighs the costs and the benefits of any solution to an environmental problem. The Australian Environment Foundation believes that people should actively manage ecosystems and use technology to help mitigate environmental impacts. Being an environmental steward is a matter of maintaining human use of an ecosystem and conserving the biodiversity of that ecosystem.

Mike Nahan is one of the founding directors of the AEF. Nahan has described the organization as one that promotes biotechnology, nuclear power, business, and the environment. The AEF's web site has a directory of articles that cover such topics as population control, biotechnology, biofuels, climate change, and forest fires. Members and directors of the organization speak and write about their concerns about the way environmental debates, policies, and education occur in Australia today.

Notable Achievements

AEF board members and members at large are active in the online and print writing communities. They also make numerous presentations at conferences and for government bodies. For a list of recent articles and activities, see the Australian Environment Foundation web site.

Celebrity Supporters

Politicians Involved in Founding the AEF

Television Celebrity Works to Popularize the Australian Environment Foundation

The inaugural chairman of the Australian Environment Foundation was Barry Cohen, a federal member for the Robertson seat for more than twenty years. He was the minister for Home Affairs and the Environment and Arts, Heritage and the Environment. 

Television celebrity Don Burke was appointed chair of the organization in July 2005. He is the former host of Burke's Backyard, a lifestyle and garden show known as Australia's Original Lifestyle Program. Burke is a respected television personality, and his appointment spurred debate about the populist directions of the organization.

Governance & Financial

The AEF is a Registered Environmental Organization

Connections with Conservative and Logging Industry Groups

The Australian Environment Foundation is membership-based and is a registered charity. Memberships are available for $55 per year. The AEF has Deductible Gift Recipient status, a status awarded to environmental organizations. This allows donors to claim a tax deduction. The Foundation states that it has no connection to any political party. It is linked to the Institute of Public Affairs and to the logging industry group Timber Communities Australia.

Regions / countries which benefit


How to donate

Membership forms are available on the Australian Environment Foundation's web site.

Send the membership form by fax, post, or email to: 

Post: PO Box 274, Deakin West ACT 2600.  
Fax:  03 5762 3069

Submitted by Eco Living Guru on May 11, 2009