About the Conference

DATES: 4-6 April 2018

VENUE: The Shine Dome, Canberra, ACT

Cities are increasingly recognised for the critical role they play in biodiversity conservation, environmental stewardship and global sustainability. Appropriate and sustainable approaches to the development and management of urban environments are pivotal to our planet’s future.
Bridging the gap between research and implementation will be required to achieve evidence-based solutions for urban sustainability and conservation. This conference presents an opportunity for researchers, industry partners and policy makers from the fields of urban sustainability and conservation to meet and co-create a roadmap through which Australia can be a global leader in this space.

If you would like to be part of the conversation, please join us at the Shine Dome, Canberra from 4-6 April 2018 

Recent evidence indicates that 30% of Australia’s threatened plant and animal species live in urban areas, highlighting the urgent need for cities to be explicitly incorporated into national conservation policies and initiatives. Cities are also major drivers underpinning global environmental challenges, such as the sustainable use of the earth’s resource and urban impacts on the sensory environment (through artificial light at night, anthropogenic noise, chemical pollution and altered microclimates). Implementing appropriate and sustainable approaches to the development and management of urban environments is vital for our planet’s future. This conference represents a landmark opportunity to shape future urban development, ensuring we deliver world-class standards in sustainability, liveability and biodiversity that, perhaps most importantly, are resilient to future environmental changes.

Conference aims

1. To increase connectivity and collaboration between researchers, industry and policy makers concerned with the sustainability of urban environments with respect to management for biodiversity conservation;
2. To identify key areas where policy and/or research is currently lacking; and
3. To develop an integrated strategy of research and policy for achieving truly sustainable and biodiverse cities in Australia and beyond.

Audience and Conference format

The audience will represent a mix of researchers, industry partners and policy makers from the fields of urban sustainability and conservation.

Each day we will seek to articulate a clear pathway forward for our roadmap, centred around one of three broad themes: Conserving Biodiversity in Cities, Attaining Urban Sustainability and Mitigating Urban Impacts.

The day will commence with a plenary session from an academic perspective, followed by a series of shorter talks that will be determined through a combination of invitation and an open-call process. The afternoon sessions will include a second plenary talk from the administration/policy perspective, break-out groups activities, and a moderated synthesis session. The final afternoon session will be a moderated discussion that will create the springboard for conference outcomes including a policy-focused report and possible scientific papers.

Conference Themes

Day 1. Conserving Biodiversity in Cities
Plants and animals share our cities with us. How do we maintain and enhance their survival and the opportunities that emerge when we co-habit these spaces?
Day 2. Attaining Urban Sustainability
While cities cover less than 3% of the Earth’s terrestrial surface, they have an extraordinary impact on the ecology of the planet. How can we shift current practices to reduce the ecological footprint of humans in urban areas and improve the sustainability of these critical ecosystems?
Day 3. Mitigating Urban Impacts
Urban ecosystems are highly modified, but the impacts go beyond the obvious visual changes to land cover. How do we increase recognition and action around anthropogenic impacts resulting from noise, light, heat and chemical pollution?

Important dates

1 December 2017- Call for abstracts & early-bird registration opens

28 Feb 2018- Call for abstracts closes

2 March 2018 Early-bird registration closes

4-6 April 2018 Fenner Conference on the Environment: Urban Sustainability and Conservation