International meeting targets Australia's role in global environmental research


A meeting of the Belmont Forum, hosted by the Australian Academy of Science through its Future Earth Australia initiative, has reinforced the importance of close collaboration across Australia’s research sector both domestically and internationally in the area of environmental sustainability.

The Belmont Forum is an international partnership of key funding agencies and the International Council of Science to mobilise the funding of environmental change research and to bring its significant expertise to the challenges faced by global environmental change

Australia is a member of the Forum, and the meeting, chaired by Academy Fellow Professor Ian Chubb, who is Chair of the Future Earth Australia Advisory Council, explored how Australia's commitment could be increased and focused.

The meeting heard from the Forum’s Dr Maria Uhle (co-chair) and Dr Erika Key (Executive Director) about the work and influence of the group, emphasising the critical role that stakeholders play not only in the identification of issues but also in the co-design of solutions.

Other speakers included Professor Andrew Holmes, President, Australian Academy of Science; Dr Paul Bertsch, Acting Director Land and Water, CSIRO who currently manages Australia’s Belmont Forum relationship; and Professor Stephen Dover, Chair of the Future Earth Australia Steering Committee.

Participants included members of the learned academies, representatives of federal government departments and research funding agencies, and universities and research institutes.

Participants agreed that Australia should continue to extend its involvement in the Belmont Forum. The next step is to further explore and finalise the Australian representation on the Belmont Forum.

More information is at https://www.science.org.au/supporting-science/future-earth-australia