A meeting hosted by the Australian Academy of Science this week, through its Future Earth Australia initiative, has reinforced the importance of close collaboration across Australia’s research sector both domestically and internationally.
The Academy hosted a meeting of the Belmont Forum, an international partnership that brings together key international funding agencies and the International Council of Science.
The Forum's core focus is to mobilise the funding of environmental change research and accelerate its delivery to remove critical barriers to sustainability.
Australia is currently a member of the Forum, with this meeting exploring how its commitment could be increased and focused. The meeting was chaired by Academy Fellow Professor Ian Chubb, who is Chair of the Future Earth Australia Advisory Council.
The meeting heard from the Forum’s Dr Maria Uhle (co-chair) and Dr Erika Key (Executive Director) about the work and influence of the group in encouraging collaborative research and communication efforts across borders to address common country, regional and international needs.
They emphasised the critical role that stakeholders play not only in the identification of issues but also in the co-design of the solutions. Other speakers included Professor Andrew Holmes, President, Australian Academy of Science; Dr Paul Bertsch, Acting Director Land and Water, CSIRO who currently manages Australia’s Belmont Forum relationship; and Professor Stephen Dover, Chair of the Future Earth Australia Steering Committee.
Participants included members of the learned academies, representatives of federal government departments and research funding agencies, and universities and research institutes.
Participants agreed that Australia should continue to extend its involvement in the Belmont Forum. The next step is to further explore and finalise the Australian representation on the Belmont Forum.
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