Featured News Let’s celebrate the International Day of the Tropics

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Wed, 15 Jun 2016

Let’s celebrate the International Day of the Tropics

Map of the Tropics.

James Cook University has warmly welcomed the United Nations’ decision to create an International Day of the Tropics.

The UN has decided that the International Day of the Tropics will be celebrated every year on the 29th of June. The date is the anniversary of the launch of the inaugural State of the Tropics 2014 report, the first major output of the State of the Tropics project, which is convened by JCU and draws on the expertise of leading institutions from around the world.

JCU Vice Chancellor, Professor Sandra Harding has worked with the Australian Government to build international support for the campaign.

“This is wonderful news. The Tropics is a crucial region and deserves to be recognised with an International Day of its own. The annual celebration will quite rightly focus attention on the sustainable development of the region and the tremendous potential the Tropics holds for the world,” Professor Harding said.

The ground breaking State of the Tropics 2014 report confirmed the great demographic, environmental and geopolitical significance of the region. For more information about the ongoing project, participating  institutions, and updated data please visit State of the Tropics.

The report revealed the Tropics is home to 40% of the world’s population, and it hosts about 80% of its terrestrial biodiversity. By 2050, more than two-thirds of the world’s children under 15 years of age will be living in the Tropics.

Professor Harding said the focus on the Tropics would also deliver great benefits for northern Australia.

“We have so much knowledge to share with the rest of the Tropics. This ‘tropical expertise’ promises new export industries to meet the infrastructure and other needs of the growing Tropics.

“Australia is a developed country with the largest tropical land mass and we have the experience, skills, and knowledge to share to the benefit of this region. The focus on similar geographies and climates, health, environment and the sustainable economic development challenges of the tropical world offer opportunities for northern Australia.”

The inaugural International Day of the Tropics will be held on June 29th, 2016.

In September 2015 the Australian Government announced it would lead efforts to establish the International Day of the Tropics.

Nobel Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, launched the State of the Tropics' inaugural report in Yangon, Myanmar on June 29th 2014.


For more information please contact:

Richard Davis

Head of Media and Communications, JCU


0413 451 475

(07) 4781 4822