The conservation conversation
The TSR Hub project leaders had their annual get-together in Brisbane recently. The primary purpose was to prepare the next iteration of the Hub’s research plan for 2017. Discussions were far-reaching – and more than once I heard mention of mediocre coffee (those Melbourne people) – covering the crucial topics of data management, indigenous knowledge and engagement, cross-project and cross-hub synergy, and broader communication and engagement.
Juanita Watters and Peter Lyon from the Department of the Environment and Energy gave excellent presentations on the NESP program and some new Departmental spatial data management initiatives. Every project leader also gave an update on their work, and even though its early in the project delivery, there are already some remarkable projects and outcomes (some detailed in this eNewsletter).
Most encouraging in the life of the Hub to date has been the enthusiasm of Hub partners across the states and territories, the unwavering support of the Department of Environment and Energy, and Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt. Minister Hunt was a true champion for Australia’s wildlife and I have no doubt that Minister Frydenberg will provide equally enthusiastic support for research that delivers improved on-ground outcomes for threatened species.
From September 1, I am on extended leave until I start my job as The Chief Scientist of The Nature Conservancy. So, until the formalities are decided by UQ, the Department and the Minister, Brendan Wintle is the acting director. I know Brendan will do a much better job than I, but more importantly, the leadership of the Hub is in the hands of a very capable seven-person Leadership Team that makes all the important decisions. We are now entering a phase of relative stability and intense productivity. While my involvement in the Hub is now largely through projects, especially Project 3.1 on Threatened species indices, feel free to contact me if you have ideas or concerns – firstname.lastname@example.org.
My parting thought is that we should hold a “Threatened Species Twitter conference” to gather intelligence from across the Australia at almost zero cost - more to follow once I can find the willing hands to help me. If you are a Twitter lover, please drop me a line (@hugepossum).
Cover image: bittern by Matt Herring