A 20+ year plan for Australian ecosystem science

Get involved to help develop Australia's ecosystem science plan. It will hopefully guide ecological education, research and land management.


I attended a workshop on this long-term ecosystem science plan at the recent EcoTas13 (Ecological Societies of Australia and New Zealand) in Auckland. Each attendee did an online survey and then discussed the emerging priorities. The information below outlines the reasons for such a plan and how you can be involved.

The proposed plan is being developed by and for the ecosystem science and management community in Australia. The plan will deliver clear directions for enhancing Australian ecosystem science over the long-term (20+ years). It will provide an avenue for more effective collaboration and coordination across the ecosystem science community so we advocate future needs in research, education, infrastructure and resourcing.

The collaborative development of this plan is designed to establish priorities for ecosystem science, land management and the multiple natural, social and economic activities that depend on our ecosystems. Remember that it’s not “the economy stupid”, it’s the ecosystem that the economy depends on …! In short, this plan will be fundamental to a future for Australians.

The Timeline

Time line

Want to be involved?

Take the survey: Tell us your ideas for the future of ecosystem science at: This is your chance to have your say about the future of ecosystem science in Australia, and it’s open until 17 January 2014. The survey feedback will then be discussed at open town hall meetings across the country to further refine ideas for developing the future of ecosystem science.

‘Town hall’ gatherings

A series of open town hall-style workshops will be held across the country in February and March 2014. These meetings will allow anyone interested to consider ideas gathered through the survey and refine them into proposals for developing the future of Australian ecosystem science. Keep an eye on the website for details of your local town hall:

The first dates locked in for the ‘town hall’ workshops next year are-

  • Melbourne – Tuesday 4 February 2014
  • Hobart – Thursday 6 February 2014
  • Brisbane – Wednesday 12 February 2014
  • Townsville – Friday 14 February 2014
  • Adelaide – Tuesday 18 February 2014
  • Darwin – Thursday 20 February 2014

Perth, Sydney and Canberra will be held in March but the dates are yet to be confirmed.

Lee Belbin