Lecture to provide threatened species investment advice

A conservation biologist who has spent most of the past 35 years in tropical Australia will suggest that improvements in the listing processes and modifications to legislation could improve the targeting of threatened species investment.

Professor Stephen Garnett will deliver the third Charles Darwin University Professorial Lecture for 2013 on September 17.

“Each year, millions of dollars are spent mitigating the impacts of development on threatened or migratory Australian species,” Professor Garnett said. “But the majority of this expenditure does little for threatened species it aims to benefit in terms of mitigating threats or moving the taxa towards a safer conservation status.”

Professor Garnett’s lecture is based on work he has undertaken on environmental assessment and threatened species legislation throughout Australia over the past two decades.

“Among the reasons for this failure are inaccurate lists and, until recently, a failure to deal strategically with threatening processes, especially if the principal threats operate elsewhere,” Professor Garnett said.

“The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List guidelines, which are used commonly to guide listing of taxa as threatened, offer the opportunity to be far more sophisticated about the listing process.

“Improvements in the listing processes and modifications to legislation could improve the targeting of threatened species investment while relieving business of the need to undertake irrelevant interventions, often at great expense,” he said.

Stephen Garnett is Professor of Conservation and Sustainable Livelihoods in the Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods at CDU.

He is well-known for his work on Australia’s threatened birds, for which he has received several awards, but has also worked on a wide range of other topics. These include understanding the knowledge economy in Northern Australia, the ethics of assisted migration in the face of climate change, and the mobility of the professional workforce in remote and regional communities. He has also worked extensively on natural resource-based livelihoods, both in Northern Australia and in south-east Asia.

The Professorial Lecture will be held on September 17 from 5:30pm to 7:00pm in the Nitmiluk Lounge, Level 4, Parliament House. The event is free, but seats are limited and RSVPs are essential. RSVP by 13 September 2013 E: rsvp@cdu.edu.au T: 08 8946 6554.

Source: CDU Newsroom