JCU will celebrate the International Day of the Tropics

28 June 2016

James Cook University is defined by the tropics, unique among Australian universities, woven into the intellectual, economic and social fabric of its tropical location and set amid irreplaceable ecosystems and cultures.
JCU has warmly welcomed the United Nations’ recent decision to create an International Day of the Tropics.
The UN has decided that the International Day of the Tropics will be celebrated every year on the 29th of June. The date is the anniversary of the launch of the inaugural State of the Tropics 2014 report, the first major output of the State of the Tropics project, which is convened by JCU and draws on the expertise of leading institutions from around the world.

JCU will celebrate the International Day of the Tropics
Harding says Tropical regions of the world will play a greater part in world affairs (Photo: JCU)

JCU Vice Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding has worked with the Australian Government to build international support for the campaign.
“This is wonderful news. The Tropics is a crucial region and deserves to be recognised with an International Day of its own. The annual celebration will quite rightly focus attention on the sustainable development of the region and the tremendous potential the Tropics holds for the world,” Professor Harding said.
The ground breaking State of the Tropics 2014 report confirmed the great demographic, environmental and geopolitical significance of the region. The report revealed the Tropics is home to 40% of the world’s population, and it hosts about 80% of its terrestrial biodiversity. By 2050, more than two-thirds of the world’s children under 15 years of age will be living in the Tropics.
The JCU Vice Chancellor said the focus on the Tropics would also deliver great benefits for northern Australia.
“We have so much knowledge to share with the rest of the Tropics. This ‘tropical expertise’ promises new export industries to meet the infrastructure and other needs of the growing Tropics.
“Australia is a developed country with the largest tropical land mass and we have the experience, skills, and knowledge to share to the benefit of this region. The focus on similar geographies and climates, health, environment and the sustainable economic development challenges of the tropical world offer opportunities for northern Australia.”
The inaugural International Day of the Tropics will be held on June 29, 2016.
In September 2015 the Australian Government announced it would lead efforts to establish the International Day of the Tropics.
Nobel Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, launched the State of the Tropics’ inaugural report in Yangon, Myanmar on June 29, 2014.

Defined by the Tropics

James Cook University is dedicated to creating a brighter future for life in the tropics worldwide, through graduates and discoveries that make a difference. The university conducts nationally significant and internationally recognised research in areas such as marine sciences, biodiversity, tropical ecology and environments, global warming, tourism, and tropical medicine and public health care in under-served populations.
JCU teaching and research focuses on four themes:

  • Tropical Ecosystems and Environment
  • Industries and Economies in the Tropics
  • Peoples and Societies in the Tropics
  • Tropical Health, Medicine and Biosecurity.