Sustainable ecosystems: A critical step in sustainable development ///

Thirty-five miles offshore Western Australia, Barrow Island’s isolation secured it as a habitat for a surprising variety of plants and animals; some are already extinct on the mainland, others are listed as rare and endangered. Studies of the island’s birds and mammals led to Barrow’s classification as an ‘A’ Class nature reserve in 1910, denoting its important status as a refuge for rare wildlife species. Such natural abundance flourishes in the presence of Australia’s second largest petroleum operation (Barrow Island oil field. ChevronTexaco is operator of the field and has partners Santos and ExxonMobil. The company’s disciplined use of environmental technology has created a showcase of sustainable development. This article describes this ongoing example of sustainable development.

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