Monthly Archives: October 2012

Science and Policy Forum (23/10/12)


 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.





Description: Description: C:\Users\richard\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Outlook\LW0UW5QG\IMG_1177-cut-2.jpgGraciela 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).




The Panel


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.



Description: Description: 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.






Description: Description: 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




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GSEC invites students around the world – across disciplines and levels of study to – to submit innovative business solutions to poverty in developing countries.     

15-20 student teams from around the globe will be invited to Seattle for GSEC Week 2013 (Feb. 25 – Mar. 1), where they present to 400+ professionals, and compete for ~ $30,000 in monetary prizes, including global health and Information & Communication Technology (ICT) prizes!   

Intl Travel scholarships available, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Rules, guidelines, and application available at . 

Questions? Contact: 
Facebook – 
Students worldwide are invited to apply to GSEC: submit applications by Nov. 8, 2012! 
GSEC expects to award at least $30,000 in prizes, as well as travel scholarships, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 
**Rules, application, and guidelines on the GSEC website 

Twitter – 
Students: submit social biz ideas to GSEC 2013 by 11/8/2012. 15-20 teams selected. Travel support, great exposure, mentorship, $30k in prizes! #socent 
Email – 
Please spread the word: Applications are open for the 9th annual Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition (GSEC)!  Apply by November 8, 2012 


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2012 Utzon Lecture Series – Professor Deo Prasad


Envisioning Low Carbon Cities; challenges and opportunities

This lecture discusses the issues that surround the transition to a lower-carbon future. Referencing a global and Australian context, Professor Deo Prasad will discuss the lower-carbon possibilities that are within reach as well as the role that national research initiatives, such as the recently established UNSW Co-operative Research Centre for Lower Carbon Living – innovations for the built environment sector, will play in enabling a lower-carbon future. The presentation will also touch upon design and planning innovations which may aid this transition and discuss whether they can be fully captured and utilised by the built environment sector. The role of technologies and tools will be discussed in comparison with the role of social innovations, noting the importance of an engaged community in the delivery of a low carbon future. The lecture will conclude on visions for a lower carbon future.


Professor Dr Deo Prasad


Professor Prasad is an international authority on sustainable buildings and cities and among the leading advocates for sustainability in Australia and is a regular contributor to debate in this area in local and international media. Previously the Director of the UNSW Centre for a Sustainable Built Environment (SOLARCH) – Australia’s leading research group in sustainable buildings – Professor Prasad was recently appointed Chief Executive Officer of the UNSW Co-operative Research Centre for Lower Carbon Living (CRC).  This CRC is a multidisciplinary research effort with research expertise in engineering, material science, architecture, town planning, economics, and the social sciences.  Its aim is to conduct research that will enable Australia to reduce carbon emissions and transform the built environment to a low carbon future and brings together leading researchers and key end-users and includes 26 industry organisations, 16 government agencies and 6 research institutions across Australia.


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