The University of Adelaide and global organisation Conservation International (CI) today announced a strategic partnership that will help boost conservation efforts in the Asia-Pacific region, including a global conservation drone program.
The two organisations have established a joint Centre for Applied Conservation Science, and a philanthropic partnership to raise funds for the Centre's activities and for other CI priority activities in the region.
The Centre aims to advance conservation science across the region and foster new research collaborations.
"Much of the Asia-Pacific region has ongoing significant conservation challenges in balancing the protection of their land and marine environment with development goals and economic interests," says the University of Adelaide's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Mike Brooks.
"Conservation International has a strong record in working with governments on sustainable development, and has helped deliver more than 1,000 protected areas across 77 countries around the world. Bringing their established partnerships and connections together with the University of Adelaide's wide expertise in conservation science will have significant benefits for both organisations and conservation in the region."
The new Centre Director will be Associate Professor Lian Pin Koh, Chair of Applied Ecology and Conservation, in the University's Environment Institute. An advisory board comprising senior members of the University and CI will help manage and oversee the Centre's activities.
Conservation International Senior Vice President David Emmett says: "The University of Adelaide has considerable strengths in conservation science, in particular through its world-class Environment Institute. Their research expertise and centres like the Unmanned Research Aircraft Facility, led by Lian Pin Koh, provide strong science and innovations in modern technologies such as drones. This will provide invaluable support to our projects and in our mission to protect nature and its benefits to people."
"Cutting-edge science has always been at the foundation of CI's programs, so we look forward to building a strong relationship with the University."
The key elements of the partnership will be:
- building conservation science capacity in the region with local scientists to reduce reliance on foreign expertise
- creating 'Conservation Classrooms' to link local conservationists with University staff and students for cross transfer of skills, knowledge and technologies, and the opportunity for on-the-ground experience
- an annual Conservation Innovation Award to promote and seed fund for game-changing ideas and technologies in conservation practice
- a Global Conservation Drone Program that will help standardise operating and safety procedures, along with sampling design, data acquisition, analysis and archiving.
Associate Professor Lian Pin Koh
University of Adelaide