Leaving a legacy
Over the last decade our research network has worked with The Nature Conservancy
on a variety of projects, particularly in the area of designing and implementing systems of protected areas. I have always admired the pragmatic way they operate.
The Nature Conservancy is an outcome-oriented organisation that delivers long-term environmental wins on the land and sea. Its reach is huge – from coral reefs to rainforests – from fisheries management and oyster reef restoration to grazing and fire management. They have new global programs in cities, climate change, water, land and marine.
The organisation is the world’s largest environmental non-government organisation. While it emerged in the United States, it now operates in over 50 countries.
The Nature Conservancy has always prided itself in delivering solutions that are based on high levels of scientific evidence. The previous Chief Scientist, Peter Kareiva, has substantially raised the quality and quantity of research in the conservancy – he has left a remarkable legacy.
Furthermore, The Nature Conservancy now has partnerships with many of the world’s best universities (Oxford, Cornell, Stanford etc.), individual scientists and social scientists from The University of Queensland to The University of Minnesota. The organisation is investing more than ever in research that makes a difference.
Personally, my love of nature has always trumped my love of science. Moving to The Nature Conservancy provides me with remarkable opportunities to save species and restore ecosystems all over the world – plus my global bird list will soar as I am duty bound to visit The Nature Conservancy’s properties and field sites around the world.
I start my new position as Chief Scientist with the Nature Conservancy on 14 November 2016 and will be taking extended leave from 1 September. By then you will have a new director – although I think the leadership group has been “directing” the Hub as a mutually supportive collective, like a small hive of social wasps (no queen), since we commenced.
I'm excited about the next chapter for both myself and the Hub, and look forward to retaining connections with the researchers and organisations who are contributing so much to threatened species recovery in Australia.
Professor Hugh Possingham
Main image: Taggerty River by David Blair