Our COVID-19 Response: Enabling a sustainable world

COVID-19 lockdowns were hailed as a chance for our environment to reset. But was that really the case? Our researchers are looking at the pandemic’s impact on our environment and how it will guide future sustainability planning.

Our research projects

COVID’s silver lining a boon for regional Australia

COVID-19 has prompted an unprecedented city exodus and a shift towards decentralisation that has opened up new opportunities for rural and regional Australia. ‘Tree changers’ are likely to support investment in carbon farming and revegetate land, leading to increased economic, social, and environmental sustainability. Pandemic disruptions also have lured industry to regions, generating hydrogen, wind and other renewable energies for example, which will reduce economic reliance on agriculture and bolster drought resilience.

Deakin University’s Centre for Regional and Rural Futures (CeRRF), in collaboration with industry and other institutions, are working to ensure that these benefits are fully realised with proper planning and coordination. CeRRF’s research in food innovation, climate adaptation, sustainable water management, and regional development has come into sharper focus since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Centre for Regional and Rural Futures (CeRRF)

Director of CeRRF, Professor Rebecca Lester, discusses the reasons behind the creation of the Centre for Regional and Rural Futures and how it brings together leading research, industry partnerships and rural communities.

Our researcher centres

Centre for Integrative Ecology (CIE):

The Centre for Integrative Ecology is investigating the mechanisms of immediate and evolutionary response to environmental changes, through ecology, evolution and ecological physiology.

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Centre for Regional and Rural Futures (CeRRF):

The Centre for Regional and Rural Futures (CeRRF) delivers innovative research solutions to regional and rural communities by collaborating with industry, government, community and not-for-profit sectors. We also contribute to the design of smarter technologies to enhance regional and rural productivity.

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Resources for you

As businesses, cities and countries around the world came to a grinding halt while COVID-19 swept across the globe, commentary around the positive effect isolation had on the environment began popping up everywhere.

The pandemic certainly decreased foot, road and air traffic almost entirely for a short period of time, but was it enough to have a significant impact on the environment – or did we simply hit the pause button?

Deakin University School of Life and Environmental Sciences Associate Professor Kelly Miller says it’s probably too early to tell, but suspects we’ve only paused our growing environmental impact.

Read more from Associate Professor Kelly Miller

Contact us

If you’d like to speak to a researcher about any of our research, please get in touch via the form below.