Collision of minds for environment 


Some of the best minds in the region come to Darwin in May this year, to examine the impact of human intervention on tropical environments, for the first Charles Darwin Symposium in 2006.

Registrations are now open from members of the public for the May 11-12 Symposium, ‘Prepare for Impact: When people and environment collide in the tropics’.

Charles Darwin University has invited outstanding speakers, including international experts  from Singapore’s National University and Institute of International Affairs, India’s Energy Research Institute, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institution and the Indonesian office of the UK aid agency DFID (Department for International Development), based in Jakarta.

CDU’s Professor Bruce Campbell says Southeast Asia and tropical Australia are undergoing major changes, and these changes are likely to intensify in the next decade.

"It is vital that issues with such potential for impact on the Territory are publicly debated,’ Professor Campbell said.

"Booming economies in China, India and elsewhere, will drive exponential increases in demands for natural resources. Climate change is likely to have severe impacts, land cover is already changing and alarming human disease outbreaks could remain part of our lives.

"We need to work out what can be done about these things and the Symposium is a chance for anyone and everyone to take part," Professor Campbell said.

Led by the ABC’s Justin Murphy, speakers will address related topics including economic, technology and population issues, climate change, urbanisation and land use, trade and the environment, disease, water and food, and values and livelihoods.

Keynote Speaker Justin Murphy worked for the CSIRO for twenty years as a geographer on land degradation before joining the ABC’s Quantum in 1985.

“I got into television because it was becoming increasingly important for scientists to get environmental messages across to the public; TV was clearly a major way to reach people,’ he said.

“The speakers are very powerful, incisive minds, across a wide range of topics. I see my job as that of provocateurI will provoke, challenge and hopefully stimulate discussion between the speakers and with the wider audience,’ Justin said.

The Charles Darwin University Symposiagreat gatherings of people from a vast variety of backgrounds, mulling over complex and vital topicsare gaining a reputation for bringing outstanding speakers to the Territory.

This Symposium will be held in the Mal Nairn Auditorium on CDU’s Casuarina Campus from 9-5pm on May 11 and 12. There is no entry charge but registrations are essential and can be made by visiting the Charles Darwin Symposium website.

Download the symposium flier (.pdf).