Book Review: Underground Lovers – Encounters with Fungi

by Alison Pouliot, NewSouth Publishing, University of NSW Press Ltd 2023 

Review by NSW NPA Environmental Book Club 

Pouliot is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable writer whose life work is studying fungi. Underground Lovers introduces us to this amazing world. Previously we may have been astonished by unexpected encounters with beautiful or weird fungi in the bush or our gardens. We’re probably aware that fungi do important work in complex ecosystems but may not know much more. She introduces us to the basic facts about the different types and their role in recycling and networking in the ‘subterrain’ of plant communities. She champions the study of this third ‘kingdom’ besides flora and fauna.  

NPA’s Strategy 2023-2027

The period covered by the last strategic plan, NPA Strategy 2018-2022, witnessed a truly shocking deterioration in the condition of nature across the globe.

During these five years the long-predicted impacts of a heating climate and habitat loss became all too real. In NSW, years of record-breaking drought saw massive loss of aquatic life as rivers ran dry, and culminated in fires that changed lives forever, burning more than 40% of the forest estate. The fires ended with an equally record-breaking series of destructive floods. A half decade that provided grave testimony to the increasingly unstable climatic systems produced by global warming.

Australia’s Nature’s Gifts and Global Conservation Agreements

Bruce Gall
Former Director of the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service
Dr Graeme L. Worboys AM
Former Honorary Associate Professor at the Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University. 

This is the final article in an 8-part series discussing our nature’s gifts. 

On 19 December 2022, the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (KMGBF) – so named for the cities it was developed in – was signed by representatives of 188 countries, an extraordinary achievement. The decade-long framework identifies 23 national biodiversity targets, one of particular interest to NPA members being the so-called ‘30×30’ target, in simple terms, the protection of 30 per cent of a country’s ecosystems by 2030. As 2 years have already been lost to Covid, the pressure is now on governments to get cracking on this crucial target. 

Campaign updates Winter 2023


For all, too long ago the prospect of significantly reforming our nature laws and expanding the NSW Protected Area Network seemed like a pipe dream.  Yet now, with international consensus around the crisis affected natural landscapes and biodiversity, and a growing national commitment to urgent action to protect nature, there is at least the glimpse of a path towards ensuring that our natural ecosystems flourish for future generations.  

Book Review: Age of Seeds

Book Review – Ricki Nash and NPA Environmental Book Club 

The Age of Seeds – How plants hacked time and why our future depends on it. 

Author: Fiona McMillan-Webster. (2022) Publisher: Thames and Hudson Australia Pty. Ltd. 

Fiona McMillan-Webster is a science writer with a Bachelor of Science in Physics and a PhD in Biophysics.