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How much has our landscape changed? And should we care?

Although it has become common knowledge that Australia’s landscape has changed dramatically since the settlement of Europeans 224 years ago, precisely what has changed, how much, and what it means is still very much open to question. In fact, many questions.

Scientists and land managers involved in the first two rounds of ACEAS-funded projects are keen to discuss some of those questions, and will meet to debate them and explore the prognosis for our environment.

The debate, ‘Will European land use devastate Australia’s unique biodiversity?’, will be held in Adelaide on 27 March, as a prelude to TERN’s third annual symposium. The debate, which is sponsored by ACEAS and the Royal Institution of Australia (RiAus) will start at 5.30pm and end at 7pm.

The host for the evening will be Ms Sara Phillips, the editor of the ABC’s environment portal. She will guide discussion on such questions as: How much has really changed in the Australian landscape since Europeans arrived? Can we strike a compromise that successfully combines European-style land uses and the protection of our unique biodiversity? Or should we give up now?

The debate will be held at the RiAus which will stream it live. However, it will be much more entertaining to attend in person — so don’t delay in booking your seat on the RiAus web site. Attendance is free.

The debate will build on a workshop being held on 26 March between the ACEAS-funded groups, at which they will discuss extinction and landscape transformations in Australia.

Published in TERN e-Newsletter February 2012

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