Experts visit UC to explore capital ideas on climate

Thu 18 February 2016

Climate adaptation experts have gathered at the University of Canberra giving early career researchers a chance to learn how the ACT region is responding to climate change.

Written by Marcus Butler, University of Canberra Media Team.

Some of Australia’s leading academics in climate change adaptation have been sharing their knowledge with 20 early career researchers at a national forum held at the University of Canberra.

Canberra Urban and Regional Futures (CURF) Director and professor of urban and regional planning Barbara Norman and research fellow Tayanah O'Donnell ran a competitive selection process for the scholars to attend the three day event.

Professor Norman said participants came from the ACT, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania for the forum which supports the Settlements and Infrastructure Network, a collaboration involving the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility.

There has been a huge amount of interest and enthusiasm among the early career researchers, they’re eager to drive the national agenda and add to the emerging field of research into climate adaptation,” Professor Norman said.

It was generally acknowledged that in addition to climate change mitigation, we are now seriously looking into adapting everything from planning future cities to managing coastal environments.

There’s a big job ahead of us, and these early career researchers will soon be at the forefront of our thinking on these subjects.”

The central theme for the forum has been urban and regional challenges and local guest speakers included the General Manager of Palerang Council, Peter Bascomb, and Katie Eberle from the Australian Department of the Environment.

Participants also undertook a field trip to Parliament House, Capital Wind Farm at Lake George, and Lerida Estate winery.

Ms O’Donnell said participants were given an up-close look at the turbines to the north of Canberra, with a representative of Capital Wind Farm leading the tour.

Many people commented on how quietly the turbines run and how they have a beauty of their own,” she said.

Visiting these sites allowed the forum’s participants to consider their theories hand in hand with real world practices and they expressed optimism for the research-industry-government nexus for improved adaptation processes and pathways.”

The forum also explored issues of governance, renewable energy and sustainable agriculture for the Canberra region. 

Attendees engaged with state and federal governments, industry and academics, and contributed their views and expertise to a review of the National Adaptation Research Plan for Settlements and Infrastructure.

Professor Norman and Ms O'Donnell declared the forum a success, both for the researchers and for CURF at the University of Canberra, in leading the way to deliver better outcomes in climate adaptation research around Australia.

Forum host and CURF research fellow Tayanah O’Donnell joined UNSW Professor Ron Cox and University of Canberra’s Dr Lain Dare with forum guests at Parliament House to learn more the research-industry-government nexus in addressing climate adaptation.



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