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Meeting of minds to save the planet


7 June 2011
Internationally renowned environmental and social science experts will gather at Southern Cross University in Lismore tomorrow, Wednesday June 8 to discuss new and pioneering solutions to our greatest environmental challenges.

The conference entitled Innovative Solutions for Environmental Challenges, which is being hosted by the Southern Cross Environmental Innovations Research Centre and is set to be attended by more than 80 academics and experts, will tackle diverse topics such as climate change adaptation in coastal Australia; biodiversity research; the effect of climate change on food prices; wastewater management and integrating environmental education into school curriculums.

Keynote speakers include former research scientist with the CSIRO and member of the IUCN and Earth Charter International Councils Professor Brendan Mackey of the Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University; well-known coastal policy expert Professor Bruce Thom of the Wentworth Group; and former Principal Scientist for the Centre for International Forestry Research and head of the School of Environmental Science and Management at Southern Cross University, Professor Jerry Vanclay.

Professor Vanclay, who will present on the importance of a holistic approach to environmental issues, said he was looking forward to the conference.

“The growing uncertainties and complexities presented by climate change and population growth will lead to increased competition for scarce natural resources and a decreased viability of natural and social systems,” said Professor Vanclay.

“The challenge for environmental management globally is to bring together knowledge from the environmental and social sciences and put their combined wisdoms into practice in a range of social and ecological situations.

“Conferences like these are vitally important to bring experts in their fields together to brainstorm, network, learn from each other and ultimately form long term solutions to some of the biggest challenges of our time.”

Media are invited to attend at 10.10am, tomorrow Wednesday June 8 at the Southern Cross University Whitebrook Theatre as attendees at the conference break for morning tea following a keynote address by Professor Brendan Mackey on biodiversity research. Professor Mackey, Professor Jerry Vanclay and other experts will be available for photos and interview.

To attend contact Zuleika Henderson, media officer, Southern Cross University Gold Coast and Tweed Heads: 07 5589 3024 or 0408 644533.

Photo: Professor Jerry Vanclay is one of the keynote speakers at the conference Innovative Solutions for Environmental Challenges taking place at Southern Cross University’s Lismore campus tomorrow (high resolution image available on request).