9.30-11.00am Biomed Theatre C
The Australian Wetlands, Rivers and Landscapes Centre and the Institute of Environmental Studies have organised this special forum in the middle of the postgraduate forum. Come and interact. We have speakers with interesting backgrounds and long experience in the interaction between policy and science. There will be a short ‘intro’ from each of the speakers and then Q & A format with a moderator.
Graciela Metternicht is the Director of the Institute of Environmental Studies, and former Regional Coordinator of Early Warning and Assessment of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for Latin America and the Caribbean. Prior to joining the UNEP, Professor Metternicht was Head of Discipline and Professor of Geospatial Systems and Environmental Management, at the School of Natural and Built Environments of the University of South Australia (UNISA). Professor Metternicht has over 20 years of professional experience in geo-science applications for environmental assessment and management. During her five years as senior officer at the UNEP she worked in the science-policy interface, engaging with UN entities and governments to build policy consensus and strategic guidance on environmental assessments and emerging environmental issues; she has technical knowledge of geo-science, environmental sciences, remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS).
Bob Debus AM was Minister for Environment in New South Wales from 1999 to 2007 and Attorney General from 2000 to 2007.He held many other portfolios during the years 1984/88 and 1995/2007 including Corrective Services, Emergency Services and the Arts. He was then Minister for Home Affairs in the Rudd Government 2007/9. In his earlier career he worked as a lawyer, publisher and ABC broadcaster. Between 1985 and 1994 he was national director of The Australian Freedom from Hunger Campaign and then of Community Aid Abroad, the two organisations merging to become Oxfam Australia. While Minister for Environment he was responsible for the support and development of scientific institutions of national significance including the Royal Botanic Gardens, The Australian Museum and Taronga Zoo. He oversaw an expansion of over one third in the area of the State’s system of the terrestrial and marine national parks, also taking a leadership role in the establishment of the pioneering connectivity conservation project to create a corridor of land managed for conservation along the Great Dividing Range from ‘The Alps to Atherton”. He supported many other policy initiatives including the first program in Australia to successfully purchase water licenses for the restoration of environmental flows in inland rivers; innovative cleaner production and pollution remediation laws; the renovation of the State’s system of waste reduction including the introduction of Australia’s first extended producer responsibility laws; new mechanisms to protect biodiversity on private land and a close involvement with the successful measure to end broadscale clearing of native vegetation.
Lisa Corbyn was Director-General, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (previously Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water) 2003-2012. She was the most senior public servant responsible for conservation policy and management for more than a decade in New South Wales. She was also the Deputy in the Ministry for the Environment setting up the first EPA in NSW in 1992. In her career, she needed to often oversee complex environmental policy supported by science. She has had a varied career as a senior manager in both the public and private sectors in Australia AWA Limited, the Sydney Water Board and the Department of Planning. She worked for over 10 years in the United States Environmental Protection Agency, primarily in water programs. Lisa has a Masters Degree in Public Administration and Natural Resource Management from the University of Washington, and undertook a fellowship at Princeton University concentrating on Environmental Economics.
Associate Professor Emma Johnston is an Australian Research Fellow at UNSW and Director of the Sydney Harbour Research Program at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science. She combines the disciplines of ecology, ecotoxicology and invasion biology to investigate how natural ecosystems respond to perturbations. Her research has had direct uptake into applied operational research and the development of policy and tools for environmental management in Australia, New Zealand and the United States. She is regularly invited to contribute expert opinion to state, federal and international government agencies. A recent example is her contribution as a member on the Independent Audit of Marine Parks for the government of NSW. This report reviewed the state’s environmental management and science relevant to the marine estate, with Johnston serving as the lead expert in the areas of marine pollution and biological invasion.
Professor Richard Kingsford is Director of the Australian Wetlands and Rivers Centre, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences of the University of NSW. He has focussed his research over about the last 20 years on the waterbirds, wetlands and rivers of arid Australia, which cover about 70% of the continent. He has identified the significant impacts of water resource development on the rivers and wetlands of the Murray-Darling Basin and other parts of the world and he has contributed to policy development and environmental flow management. He is a member of the Australian Government’s Environmental Flows Scientific Committee. He has had a long involvement in the interface between science and policy, sometimes representing governments at a senior level in a policy position.
Institute of Environmental Studies
University of New South Wales
Sydney NSW 2052