Media Release

14/08/2014
Partnership to Tackle North’s Environmental Problems
James Cook University and Greening Australia have joined forces to tackle some of tropical Australia’s most challenging environmental problems.

Partnership to Tackle North’s Environmental Problems

James Cook University and Greening Australia have joined forces to tackle some of tropical Australia’s most challenging environmental problems.

For more than 30 years, Greening Australia has been working with Australian communities and industries to re-vegetate, restore and protect critical ecosystems, and combat invasive weeds and feral animals.

JCU Vice Chancellor, Professor Sandra Harding said the agreement will see both organisations working towards the common goal of solving some of the most pressing environmental problems.

“I am delighted that James Cook University can strengthen its relationship with Greening Australia.”

“JCU researchers will work with Greening Australia to develop practical solutions to problems such as biodiversity loss and sediment flows onto the Great Barrier Reef, and ensure sustainable development occurs in northern Australia,” Professor Harding said.

Greening Australia’s CEO, Brendan Foran said the partnership offers benefits for both organisations.

“It’s a win-win situation. JCU and Greening Australia will both be stronger because of the collaboration, not only across northern Australia but potentially across the entire Tropical Zone, given the pressing ecosystem protection and restoration needs highlighted in the recently released State of the Tropics Report.”

“The partnership creates ‘sub-degree pathways’ for undergraduate and postgraduate students seeking tertiary education and opportunities for ‘workplace integrated learning’, where they can undertake applied research to work on habitat restoration and other projects,” he said.

“In fact the agreement has already provided work opportunities for students within the Greening Australia - North Queensland Dry Tropics Nursery, which is being relocated to the Townsville campus.”

Mr Foran added that JCU researchers would provide the academic rigour and leading-edge research that Greening Australia needs to inform its work.

The collaboration would bolster efforts to improve the quality of water entering the Great Barrier Reef.

“We can help the agricultural and resource sectors adopt practices that assist in reducing sediment flow onto the GBR. It is widely recognised that an integrated or ‘ridge to reef approach’ is needed to improve water quality and ecosystems in the GBR,” Brendan Foran said.

There are also longer-term plans to develop a multi-purpose Tropical Ecosystem Conservation and Restoration Centre, which would include an interpretative centre and provide training for JCU undergraduate and postgraduate students.

For further information contact:

Ross Andrewartha, Greening Australia’s North Queensland Manager.

0418 782 388 randrewartha@greeningaustralia.org.au

Richard Davis, JCU Head of Media and Communications

(07) 4781 4822, 0413 451 475 richard.davis@jcu.edu.au