JCU joins partnership to tackle north’s environmental problems

20 August 2014

James Cook University and Greening Australia have joined forces to tackle some of tropical Australia’s most challenging environmental problems.
For more than 30 years, Greening Australia has been working with Australian communities and industries to re-vegetate, restore and protect critical ecosystems, and combat invasive weeds and feral animals.

JCU aims to ensure sustainable development occurs in northern Australia

JCU Vice Chancellor, Professor Sandra Harding said the agreement will see both organisations working towards the common goal of solving some of the most pressing environmental problems.
“I am delighted that James Cook University can strengthen its relationship with Greening Australia.
JCU researchers will work with Greening Australia to develop practical solutions to problems such as biodiversity loss and sediment flows onto the Great Barrier Reef, and ensure sustainable development occurs in northern Australia,” Professor Harding said.
Greening Australia’s CEO, Brendan Foran said the partnership offers benefits for both organisations.
“It’s a win-win situation. JCU and Greening Australia will both be stronger because of the collaboration, not only across northern Australia but potentially across the entire Tropical Zone, given the pressing ecosystem protection and restoration needs highlighted in the recently released ‘State of the Tropics Report.’
“The partnership creates sub-degree pathways for undergraduate and postgraduate students seeking tertiary education and opportunities for workplace integrated learning, where they can undertake applied research to work on habitat restoration and other projects,” he said.
“In fact the agreement has already provided work opportunities for students within the Greening Australia—North Queensland Dry Tropics Nursery, which is being relocated to the Townsville campus.”
Mr Foran added that JCU researchers would provide the academic rigour and leading-edge research that Greening Australia needs to inform its work.
The collaboration would bolster efforts to improve the quality of water entering the Great Barrier Reef.
“We can help the agricultural and resource sectors adopt practices that assist in reducing sediment flow onto the GBR. It is widely recognised that an integrated or ridge-to-reef approach is needed to improve water quality and ecosystems in the GBR,” Brendan Foran said.
There are also longer-term plans to develop a multipurpose Tropical Ecosystem Conservation and Restoration Centre, which would include an interpretative centre and provide training for JCU undergraduate and postgraduate students.

JCU programs of interest

Master of Science (Protected Area Management) 
Protected areas include marine and terrestrial national parks and World Heritage Areas. The protection of these areas is dependent upon their continued management. There are more than 120,000 protected areas worldwide, and their success depends on how well they are managed. This 1.5-year program provides specialist training for science graduates already working in this area (national parks and world heritage listed areas), or people wanting to work in this field.
Master of Development Practice
The Master of Development Practice is a two-year degree providing graduate-level students with the skills and knowledge to address the global development challenges of poverty alleviation, health, environmental conservation, climate change and agriculture. Students will benefit from a broad, multidisciplinary program that includes field experience in northern Australia and Indonesia with the possibility of additional field experience in other SE Asian countries. Students will be encouraged to work in teams to tackle real-world problems both through case studies on campus and through the field work in complex local contexts. The special challenges to sustainable development in tropical forest and coastal regions will be addressed through a focus on insular South East Asia and the Pacific. The Master of Development Practice is designed to produce a cohort of skilled development practitioners and effective advocates of sustainable development practice.

Want to learn more about sustainable development and other environmental sciences programs at James Cook University? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Environmental Sciences Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or call toll free at 1-866-698-7355.