Issue 7
Monday, 03 September 2018
Charles Darwin University
E-news
Environmental Science Professor Lindsay Hutley says regional collaboration is needed to protect vital ecosystems
Environmental Science Professor Lindsay Hutley says regional collaboration is needed to protect vital ecosystems

Top scientists gather for climate change conference

Environmental scientists from Australia and Asia gathered in Darwin recently to investigate ecosystem, climate and land-use change.

The Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods (RIEL) hosted the conference, which focussed on the need for collaborative approaches to ecology in the Asia-Pacific region.

Environmental Science Professor Lindsay Hutley said concerted and collaborative action was needed as ecosystems in the Asia-Pacific region were at severe risk.

“The region’s ecosystems are under pressure from all angles and so is the ability of these ecosystems to produce fundamentals such as clean air, food and water,” Professor Hutley said.

The conference was jointly organised by Australia’s Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network and the international AsiaFlux Network. Both organisations undertake extensive research on ecosystem and land-use change.

Professor Hutley said a key step in sustainably managing the ecosystems was to bring together all the scientific knowledge, ecosystem monitoring and modelling that existed in the region.

“We can now better understand what’s currently happening, what will occur in the future and devise innovative strategies to protect and manage these diverse ecosystems,” he said.

“This is particularly relevant for Northern Australia as we share some weather systems with Asia, particularly the monsoon that generates our wet season.

"Our wet season rainfall is particularly important for the Top End’s drinking water supplies and primary production. Any knowledge and expertise in Asia will help us understand the monsoon better and plan for the future more effectively.”

The conference was attended by more than 100 researchers and postgraduate students including microclimatologists, carbon and climate change analysts and environmental and climate scientists from Australia, Japan, South Korea, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.