Addressing climate change

13 June 2013

Deakin is well placed, says Professor Andy Bennett.

Deakin University researchers are well placed to help both the local and global communities better understand and respond effectively to the multiple challenges of climate change.

That’s the view of Professor Andy Bennett after Geelong hosted the Annual Forum of the Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaption Research (VCCCAR) last month.

Professor Bennett is a highly respected integrative ecologist at Deakin and a member of the VCCCAR Implementation Committee.

“It was sobering that the conference was held in the week that C02 in the atmosphere reached a record 400 parts per million,” he said.

“We had a wide range of quality speakers address the forum, and I was able to speak about the contribution that Deakin is able to make to discussions about this pressing problem for the future of our planet.”

Other speakers from Deakin were Adjunct Professor Roz Hansen and Professor Hisham Elkadi.

Professor Hansen is an urban and regional planner with more than 30 years of experience working both in Australia and the Asia Pacific Region. From 1986 to 2011 she was a director and then the managing director of a multi award-winning consultancy, Hansen Partnership.

In 2012 she established Roz Hansen Consulting Pty Ltd seeking to continue to work on international projects offering expertise and skills in strategic planning at the local, provincial and national level.

Professor Elkadi’s research in the field of culture and urban ecology straddles both art and design on the one hand and engineering on the other.

“There is a considerable amount of working going on at Deakin, and in the region, which addresses climate change, and from ecology, to health, disease and improved urban and coastal design,” Professor Bennett said.

“We see ourselves playing an important role in the research and education related to climate change, which is why we were pleased to assist the VCCCAR conference, and to become partner institution.

Other key speakers were:

  • Professor Jean Palutikof (Griffith University, Director, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility)
  • Brad Battin MP (new Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment)
  • Professor Jonathon Overpeck (U. Arizona, Lead Convening Author IPCC, and 2013 VCCCAR Visiting Fellow)

An overview of the conference was provided by The Editor of The Conversation, Jan Wisniewski.

The two day conference was preceded by a community forum on climate change in the National Wool Museum in Geelong.

This event was staged in partnership with the City of Greater Geelong and was aimed at looking at the changing environment and what impact it might have on the local region.

“It is important that communities at every level, local, national and globally, come together to work through the challenges that climate change will bring,” Professor Bennett said.

“Humans can be incredibly innovative, but we need to get on with dealing with the risks and challenges of human induced climate change, for which the scientific evidence is overwhelming.

“Our researchers at Deakin have been building a body of work in recent times to show that we will have an important part in play in doing that."

Professor Andy Bennett Professor Andy Bennett

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