Island paradise at risk
Two Cairns researchers will be heading to Indonesia next month to draw attention to the enormous conservation pressures faced by the islands east of Bali.
Professor Jeff Sayer and Dr Intu Boedhihartono will speak about their upcoming trip at a free public lecture, Islands in the sun: conservation and development east of Bali, at James Cook University on May 24.
“The islands east of Bali are spectacularly beautiful and rich with biodiversity, but are home to some of the world’s poorest people,” Professor Sayer said.
“Most conservation and development aid is going to west Indonesia, yet these islands face a tidal wave of pressures including mining and oil palm production.”
Professor Sayer wants to tap into JCU’s links with eastern Indonesia to help address the problem.
“JCU has collaborative arrangements with several universities in eastern Indonesia, we have alumni in important positions in government, universities and non-government organisations and we have several students from eastern Indonesia studying with us in Townsville and Cairns,” he said.
“We are seeking to expand our research and education activities in the region jointly with these local partners. Our aim is to contribute to better natural resource outcomes throughout the archipelago.”
Director of JCU’s Master in Development Practice Programme and Professor of Conservation and Development Practice, Professor Sayer has spent his career leading projects, programs, and institutions dealing with practical natural resource problems, mostly in developing tropical countries where he spent more than 40 years of his life.
He has become more involved in sustainable development issues and in larger scale conservation problems with his recent work focusing on the practical applications of the concepts of ecosystem and landscape approaches to resource management.
Senior Lecturer in Tropical Landscapes and Livelihoods at JCU, Dr Boedhihartono has a multidisciplinary background in Anthropology and Fine Arts.
Her interests focus on the culture and socio-economics of minority groups living in tropical forests and the conservation of their environment. With her work involving the livelihoods, natural resource management practices and cultural diversity of these peoples.
The presentation is the latest in JCU’s annual series of public lectures in science and engineering.
It will be held in the Crowther Theatre at James Cook University in Smithfield on Thursday May 24. Refreshments will be served from 5.30pm and the lecture will begin at 6pm.
Issued May 14, 2012
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