CDU to host new environmental research program for Northern Australia


The hub will be led by Professor Michael Douglas from Charles Darwin University

The hub will be led by Professor Michael Douglas from Charles Darwin University

Northern Australia’s unique natural environments will benefit from a $24 million investment in environmental research by the Australian Government. 

The Northern Australia Environmental Resources Hub is one of six new hubs to receive Commonwealth funding which will run under the National Environmental Science Programme (NESP). 

The Hub is a collaboration between leading research organisations including Charles Darwin University, James Cook University, the University of Western Australia, Griffith University, CSIRO, the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance and the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australian governments. 

A key feature of the hub will be strong involvement from the organisations that can use the research to improve their decision-making, including Parks Australia, state and territory government agencies, natural resource management bodies and Indigenous groups.  

The hub will be led by Professor Michael Douglas from Charles Darwin University, who has more than 20 years’ experience working in ecology and management of tropical ecosystems.

Professor Douglas said the Hub’s research would help to ensure that decisions around developing the North were based on the best available evidence. 

“From the Kimberley to Cape York, our research will deliver new knowledge, tools and partnerships to support the management of Northern Australia’s natural resources,” he said.

“This research will focus on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity, as well as catchment and coastal land planning for urban, agricultural and infrastructure development.

“It will also support Indigenous land management, including Indigenous Protected Areas.”

Professor Douglas said that the research would begin mid-2015 and the next few months would be an important time to work with stakeholders across Northern Australia to develop a set of research projects that would be of most benefit to the people managing Northern Australia's environmental resources.

“The proposed six years of Commonwealth funding gives us the capacity to work closely with governments, communities and industry to improve the way we manage and monitor our unique environments.”

“This is a fantastic opportunity to ensure we are making good decisions when it comes to tackling the region’s major environmental challenges.”

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