CDU expert to speak in Washington on climate change 

CDU’s Professor Andrew Campbell has been invited as one of seven Australian speakers for the 2012 Australian Ambassador's Speaker Series in the United States

The future of our natural resources may be at risk through climate change, according to a Territory resource management expert who will travel to Washington to take part in this year’s prestigious Australian Ambassador's Speaker Series.

Charles Darwin University Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods Director, Professor Andrew Campbell has played influential roles in natural resource management in Australia for 25 years and has been invited as one of seven Australian speakers for the 2012 series in the United States.

Professor Campbell’s research interests span the interactions between climate, water, energy, food systems and biodiversity, and the interface between knowledge, science and policy. 

His presentation, entitled “Converging Insecurities: climate, carbon, energy, water and food”, will detail the increasing pressure on rural landscapes and natural resources due to climate change.

“The era of abundant, cheap fossil fuel energy is ending,” Professor Campbell said. “Amplified climate variability and extreme events will place increasing pressure on current resources. Population growth and changing demographic and consumption patterns will see increasing demand for food, but food systems will be squeezed by land, water, energy, nutrient and carbon constraints.

“Against this backdrop, it would make sense for the agricultural sectors of rich countries like the US and Australia to pursue ambitious strategic objectives over the next 20 years.” 

Professor Campbell’s presentation will explore how objectives, such as doubling food, water and energy productivity might be achieved through becoming a net producer of (renewable) energy and the development of carbon-neutral farmlands. He will also discuss the changes in science and policy needed to deal with these issues in a more integrated way.

While in Washington Professor Campbell will also meet with officials and scientists involved in the US and Australia Joint Commission on Science and Technology announced jointly by Prime Minister Gillard and Secretary of State Clinton in November 2010 in his role as chair of the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network.

Professor Campbell will travel to Washington to take part in the Australian Ambassador's Speaker Series in May. The program is run by the Australian Foreign Affairs Department through the US Embassy to showcase Australian talent and will attract an audience from organisations and think tanks on climate change, food, water and energy from around the world.