Ever heard of Nauru? Most people haven't. The small Pacific island is one of the smallest nations on Earth and once had the highest per capita income in the world due to its incredibly rich phosphates that were mined for fertilizer. But that was decades ago, now the island is virtually unrecognizable. The mining carried out has left the island barren with just a small sliver of the island now habitable.
Now Australia — one of the countries responsible for mining Nauru into economic destitution and environmental disaster — is considering doing the same to another Pacific island. The Australian territory of Christmas Island — famed for its annual migration of the red crab, indigenous species, and stunning beauty — could be next to ecological disaster.
The phosphates that are so valuable on the international market are crucial to keeping the island's biodiversity safe and healthy. It fertilizes the plants that keep it lush and green. Once the phosphates are mined, they are impossible to replace and it will leave the indigenous fauna - several of which live nowhere else on earth - with a desolate island, where they can no longer breed, feed or rest safely.
The story of Nauru should serve as a cautionary tale to the world as to how not to exploit our natural resources. Islands — almost more than any other places on Earth — are extremely sensitive to change. Damage done to their delicate ecosystems is all but irreversible.
Join the call! Ask the Australian government to learn from its mistakes of the past and leave the delicate ecosystem of Christmas Island alone. Sign the petition and tell PM Malcolm Turnbull to commit to never again allowing mining on Christmas Island.