Island management discussed

THE better management of Australia’s islands is being discussed at a symposium in the Whitsundays this week.

High population growth, urban development, increased recreational use and other management challenges have impacted on the condition of our coastal assets.

For the first time on Australian soil, experts have come together this week at the Island Arks Symposium to discuss how we can better manage islands and ensure their sustainability.

Delegates are discussing long term solutions for conservation of island ecosystems.

Operations Manager for host Reef Catchments Mackay Whitsunday, Derek Ball, said that after more than 30 years of decline in some areas, it was pretty clear that current island management practices just weren’t cutting it.

“The Island Arks Symposium is about thinking outside the box and developing new, novel and innovative strategies,” he said.

“We need to act now and develop a coordinated effort across industry, government, Indigenous Australia and the wider Australian community.”

The Symposium has brought together experts in Indigenous culture, tourism, industry, coastal management, marine ecology, fire strategy, invasive species management, marketing and communication and environmental economics.

“In simple terms - we want to identify what’s broken, who the key players are, what we can do to help fix the problems and/or maintain current condition, and then where we go to get the support and funding we need to set the wheels in motion,” he said.

As part of the symposium, delegates are taking a trip to the reef today.


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