Two rural doctors from the iconic Australian town of Gundagai today announced plans to tackle climate change from the ground up...literally.
Drs Paul Mara and Virginia Wrice-who have been doctors in Gundagai for nearly three decades-have committed to planting 5000 trees a year indefinitely and achieving a carbon neutral surgery by the end of 2012.
"It is clear that everyone has a role to play in meeting the challenge of climate change" said Dr Mara, who is also Vice President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia.
"Leaving this important issue to politicians and bureaucrats alone is no longer an option.
"There is no doubt in our minds about the science of climate change and the potential adverse effects this will have not just on the wellbeing of the planet but on individual health too.
"Trees will be planted locally from local seed and ultimately a private fund will be established to continue this work."
The Gundagai Medical Centre is a fully integrated and modern health centre with a focus on providing a range of medical and allied health services. It is also a teaching practice for medical students, prevocational hospital-based residents and rural registrars.
In more than 27 years of living and working in Gundagai, Drs Mara and Wrice have provided full support for the local hospital including inpatient and emergency care after-hours.
"We love living and working in the country, and this is a small way we can give back to the bush and the community" Dr Mara said. "It complements other initiatives in the local area such as the development of a wind farm and the use of recycled water for the local golf course."