Community input sought for Ecosystem Science Plan

11 March 2014

A plan is being developed to manage research into Australia's ecosystems - such as this red desert.
A plan is being developed to manage research into Australia's ecosystems - such as this red desert.

Ecosystem Science is key to managing our food and water assets. In order to develop a long term plan for ecosystem research and management 'Town-Hall' meetings are being held around the country. Sydney's turn is on Friday 14th March.

Everyone with an interest in ecosystem science is invited to participate, with the results of the discussion being drafted into the Australian Ecosystem Science Long-Term Plan.

The need for a plan has been driven by Associate Professor Glenda Wardle, researcher in the School of Biological Sciences. "When I was Vice President for the Ecological Society of Australia I championed the idea that we needed to develop a vision for Australian ecology," explained Glenda. "A steering group was formed and I am taking a lead role in that, along with Professor Stuart Phinn, Science Director of the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network."

In addition to the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network, the search for a long-term plan involves organisations such as the Australian Academy of Science, CSIRO and the Ecological Society of Australia.

"Ecosystem science is critical for addressing challenges facing Australia," said Glenda. "We must think and act strategically now, to ensure that we have the best trained people, infrastructure, research programs, and resourcing in place to study, understand, and manage Australia's ecosystems in the future."

"In the past, our capacity for ecosystem research and management activities has been diluted by a lack of continuity and collaboration across the diverse, multidisciplinary community that makes up ecosystem science in Australia. The development of a plan will provide a pathway for deeper collaboration and effective coordination, and to identify a common vision, plan and priorities to enable the whole community to advance collectively."

"The process to develop the Ecosystem Science Long-Term Plan is centred on principles of openness, inclusivity, and transparency, which includes open town-hall meetings around the country." The Sydney meeting is being held this Friday 14th March in the Broadway Room at 235 Jones St, Ultimo. If you have an interest in ecosystem science, register here.