May 17, 2010


It was standing room only at the Optus Theatre in the CSIRO Discovery Centre (Canberra) for many of the talks at the workshop ‘Nationally Relevant Environmental Monitoring: Existing Approaches and Future Opportunities’.

Crowded in to hear over 30 speakers on 20 -21 October 2009 were more than 180 people from environmental policy, science and management, representing 40 organisations including universities, CSIRO, government departments and agencies. 

Topics spanned the development of a set of national accounts for the environment, to the use of monitoring in managing the nation’s fisheries, to using sensor technology for creating a macro-instrument, new ways to select ecological indicators, to how statistical models can inform the design of monitoring programs. The workshop was organised by CSIRO and the Marine Biodiversity Hub and is intended to be just the start of a dialogue on improving environmental monitoring in ways that can be scaled to national level.

CSIRO’s Simon Barry said the aim was to bring together people from across a range of environmental areas - terrestrial, freshwater and marine to name a few. Usually workshops are focused in just one of these areas but lessons can be learnt from across the spectrum. The organising team were pleased with the level of interest shown in the discussions and there were plenty of opportunities to network and share ideas.

The workshop concluded with a lively panel discussion that drew together some of the themes of the presentations and issues to reflect on. Panellists included Hugh Possingham (University of Queensland; CERF Applied Environmental Decision Analysis Hub), Ian Poiner (Australian Institute of Marine Science; Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility), Bronwyn Harch (CSIRO), and Nic Bax (CSIRO, CERF Marine Biodiversity Hub).

Conference details and workshop booklet: