[ASC-media] Canberra Public Lecture - Trade-offs between agriculture and the environment: how do we decide what to protect?

Mona Akbari Mona.Akbari at science.org.au
Tue Mar 20 04:02:42 CET 2012

Hi Asc'ers

The Australian Academy of Science would like to invite you to the next public lecture in the Caring for the Australian Countryside series by Dr Anna Roberts on the trade-offs between agriculture and the environment. The lecture will be on Tuesday 3 April at 6 pm at the Shine Dome in Canberra.

Live streaming of the lecture will also be available through the Academy website www.science.org.au<http://www.science.org.au>  from 6 pm on Tuesday 3 April, for those not in Canberra.

Kind regards
Dr Mona Akbari  Communications and Media Officer
Australian Academy of Science  Ian Potter House, Gordon Street, Acton ACT 2601  |  GPO Box 783, Canberra ACT 2601
T (02) 6201 9452  F (02) 6201 9494  M 0447 679 612 E mona.akbari at science.org.au<mailto:mona.akbari at science.org.au> www.science.org.au<http://www.science.org.au/>

Trade-offs between agriculture and the environment: how do we decide what to protect?<http://science.org.au/events/publiclectures/ac/roberts.html>
Tuesday 3 April 2012, 6 pm

Dr Anna Roberts
Senior Research Scientist, Victorian Department of Primary Industries

Most people want to know that 'the environment' is being protected, including water quality, habitat, threatened species and specific environmental assets. Agricultural land management greatly affects the environment and large amounts of money are being committed to protecting aspects of the Murray-Darling Basin, Great Barrier Reef and many other areas. A focus on process, including making plans, and setting targets, helps create a sense that outcomes will be achieved, but often they are not. In addition, many programs are based on an implicit assumption that largely voluntary adoption of improved agricultural practices will be sufficient to deal with environmental problems. Often this is not the case, leaving large policy dilemmas about trade-offs between land management and the environment. This lecture will explore interactions among science, economics, politics, and policy, and will address how to get more effective discussion about what aspects of the environment are sufficiently important and feasible to protect at acceptable cost.

Lecture and live streaming from 6pm
Refreshments from 5:30 pm (gold coin donation)
Shine Dome, Gordon Street, Canberra
Free entry and parking

RSVPs essential to Shannon Newham by 30 March
rsvp at science.org.au<mailto:rsvp at science.org.au> or 02 6201 9462

Anna Roberts holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne and has 30 years' experience in research, extension and policy interaction with the Victorian Department of Primary Industries. Her focus has been on understanding the impact of agriculture on the environment, developing farming systems which reduce environmental impacts and contributing to policy development. Currently, she is the co-leader of a multi-disciplinary team which has developed a framework to achieve cost-effective and realistic environmental outcomes. This framework is being used by both government and non-government agencies in Australia influencing their policy-making, as well as now being piloted internationally. Dr Roberts also leads Victorian work linking the impacts of farming systems and management on water quality at the catchment scale. She is a key scientist in a project assessing the impacts of reduced surface and groundwater availability on agricultural and environmental outcomes in the Victorian Murray-Darling Basin. She has served on a number of state and national committees, and has won several awards including the Australian Museum 2009 Australian Research Council Eureka Prize for Interdisciplinary Research.
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