Darwin to host major climate change conference


CDU Environmental Science Professor Lindsay Hutley.

CDU Environmental Science Professor Lindsay Hutley.

Environmental scientists from Australia and Asia will gather in Darwin this week to investigate ecosystem, climate and land-use change.

Charles Darwin University’s Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods (RIEL) will host the conference that runs to 26 August and will focus on the need for collaborative approaches to ecology in the Asia-Pacific region.

CDU Environmental Science Professor Lindsay Hutley said concerted and collaborative action was needed now 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 conferences is being jointly organised by Australia’s Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network and the international AsiaFlux Network. Both organisations undertake extensive collaborative research on ecosystem and land-use change.

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

“We can then 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 will bring together up to 120 researchers and postgraduate students with expertise ranging from microclimatologists to carbon and climate change analysts.

Environmental and climate scientists and managers from Australia, Japan, South Korea, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand will attend.

The conference will include a three-day technical workshop at CDU, a three-day scientific meeting and a field day that will showcase local ecosystems and the ecosystem monitoring infrastructure.

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