2015 wraps up in style for Ecosystem Science Council

The final few months of 2015 have been busy and exciting for the Ecosystem Science Council, with Foundations for the Future: a long-term plan for Australian ecosystem science (‘the Plan’) receiving national recognition for the innovative participation processes used to develop the Plan, release of their first Annual Report, and expressions of interest opened to form new working groups to help implement recommendations from the Plan.

Award for the Ecosystem Science Long-Term Plan

In October, the Ecosystem Science Long-Term Plan project was awarded a Highly Commended in the environment category of the International Association for Public Participation-Australasia‘s (IAP2) annual Core Values awards, which recognise outstanding projects at the forefront of public participation and community engagement. The awards are intended to encourage excellence and innovation in the field of public participation and community engagement.

From the outset, the development of the Plan was intended to be an open, inclusive and transparent process that enabled anyone in the Australian ecosystem science community to participate and influence the process. It is wonderful to see the efforts towards these principles recognised by the IAP2 with this award.

TERN is proud to have played a part in enabling the development of the Plan, along with key partners such as the ESA and AAS. We extend congratulations to the Ecosystem Science Council, other partners, and to the whole ecosystem science community who should feel proud of our collective achievements to date in working together to build the future of Australian ecosystem science.


Ecosystem Science Council Annual Report 2015

Annual Report

Following up from their award win, the Ecosystem Science Council were pleased to release their first Annual Report to the community covering the period from their formation in March 2015 until September 2015. The Annual Report outlines the progress made so far towards a nationally defined set of directions for ecosystem science, and the first actions taken to implement the shared community vision as outlined in the Plan.

Council chair Prof Glenda Wardle says, ‘It is rewarding to set audacious goals, make decisions on short and long-term priorities for action and to steadily build a strong foundation for a better future.

‘No, we didn’t think it would be easy, but we are off to a good start. The success so far can be attributed to the guiding principles of openness, inclusivity and transparency. 

‘Our Plan is based on a national open discussion, and we have already achieved this by forming a Council, which is busily seeking funding and engaging with the key communities to get the six key directions we defined going!’

Invitation to join working groups

The Council has a clear focus on people – meeting their needs, harnessing the considerable talents within the ecosystem science community and collectively moving forward to achieve our goals. Input from the whole community is needed to ensure the continuing efforts are supporting your work and moving everyone forward to achieve our common goals.

With that in mind, Expressions of Interest have just opened for the new ‘Enabling Ecosystem Surveillance’ and ‘Supporting Long-Term Research’ Working Groups, who will be involved in activities to advance these two Key Directions of the Plan. EOIs can be submitted before 21 December 2015, and you can find out where to send to them, along with more details about the Working Groups using the links below:

These new working groups will follow hot on the heels of the new ‘Data Resources Working Group’ that was also formed through an open Expression of Interest call across October and November. This group of 16 people from a variety of roles in ecosystem science and management will help to advance progress towards the ‘Making the most of data resources’ Key Direction. You can read more about them and their plans here.

And at any time, anyone in the Australian ecosystem science and management community is invited to get involved in making the vision of the Plan a reality. You can subscribe to the Ecosystem Science Council newsletter and read the website to find out more.

Published in TERN newsletter December 2015

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