Emerging thoughts on tackling climate change


The recent Shell EcoVolunteers Geelong Climate Change Forum run by Conservation Volunteers Australia opened with a message for us all.   David Tournier of the Wathaurong Community welcomed the attendees with the words “I have been involved in land care since birth” – a sobering thought for a group of people meeting to discuss environmental challenges created through a lack of protection for the very land he was referring to.

The forum aimed to articulate important actions to be taken locally in response to the effects of climate change on biodiversity, and gave participants a greater understanding of what others were doing to tackle climate change.

Forum Speakers
EcoVolunteers Geelong Climate Change Forum Speakers

Speakers from various facets of the community described how they were making a difference within their businesses, careers and communities.  Some of the speakers sharing their stories included:

  • Mark Schubert, General Manager of the Shell Refinery: Mark spoke about climate proofing our communities.  This included information on “integrating economic, environmental and social considerations into business decision-making”, and how Shell was tackling the issue on both a local and global stage.  Mark’s presentation can be found here.
  • Patrick O’Callahan, Director of Conservation Enterprises and the Conservation Volunteers Australia Wild Futures Program: Patrick raised the point that it is not necessarily about trying to save the world, but thinking about actions we can initiate right now, so that plans come to life and become ‘living documents’, and spoke about the animals being targeted by the Wild Futures program, including the Australian Flat Back Turtle and the Southern Bell Frog.  Patrick’s presentation can be found here.
  • Assoc. Professor Peter Waterman, Environmental Planner and Associate Professor, Environmental Science at the University of Sunshine Coast: Peter clarified ambiguities surrounding definitions of and phrases relating to climate change, and spoke about ‘climate proofing’ and how to adapt to change. Peter’s presentation can be found here.
  • Katie Gillett, President of the Geelong West Community Garden, Chair of the Geelong Organic Gardeners: Katie spoke about community gardens as a tool for tackling climate change and their ability to improve health, look after our environment, create a sense of community and increase food security.   Katie’s presentation can be found here.
  • Mark Sanders, Managing Director of Third Ecology – Third Ecology is a multi disciplinary firm focusing on sustainability in architecture, construction management and sustainability advice and ratings.  Mark focussed on tackling climate change through architecture and his presentation can be found here.

The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee’s Website also has information on what the organisation and others are doing to maintain the coast’s health and resilience in light of climate change impacts such as sea level rise and other threats and what you can do to help.

Below is a video clip available from The Committee’s website about climate change along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road Coast and how you can help us to look after the coast by reducing your carbon footprint.

Other topics on the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee site include:

  • A healthier future for our coast
    Why climate change is important and its likely impacts on our beautiful coastal environment.
  • Climate change snapshot
    An overview of potential climate change effects and their impacts on coastal communities.
  • Learn more
    Useful documents and links to more information about climate change and our coast.
  • Make a difference
    Simple things you can do to reduce your own carbon footprint and contribute to reducing climate change impacts on our coast.

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