Griffith University and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN, Pacific Regional Office) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote strategic partnerships in the region. The MOU will provide a solid platform for ongoing collaborative research projects, capacity building, and increase Griffith’s profile in the region as a desirable destination for post-graduate studies. The MoU was signed on 26th of August on Griffith’s behalf by Professor Sushila Chang (Dean, Academic, SEET) and by Mr Taholo Kami, IUCN’s Regional Director, IUCN Oceania Regional Office (ORO).

Professor Brendan Mackey, Director, Griffith Climate Change Response Program (GCCRP), has initiated this collaboration as part of the program’s strategic engagement in Asia-Pacific. Professor Mackey has a special relationship with IUCN having been elected by its world membership at the 2012 World Conservation Congress to serve on the organisation’s global governing council.

This strategic partnership will include the following activities:

  • Hosting by IUCN ORO of Griffith students as interns, vacation scholars, or graduate research students who are working on problems of mutual interest;
  • Short-term research visits to Griffith by IUCN ORO staff to work on problems of mutual interest;
  • Contributing Griffith expertise to IUCN partnership networks including the key inter-governmental institutions in the region – Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Secretariat of the Pacific Region Environment Program (SPREP); along with
  • Co-operation in training and capacity building

About IUCN: The IUCN was founded in 1948 as the world’s first global environmental organization and today it is the largest professional global conservation network. The IUCN is a leading authority on the environment and sustainable development with more than 1,200 member organizations including 200+ government and 900+ non-government organizations, and around 11,000 voluntary scientists and experts, grouped in six Commissions in some 160 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by over 1,000 staff in 45 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world. The Union’s headquarters are located in Gland, near Geneva, in Switzerland and has six regional offices including IUCN Oceania, which includes Australia. IUCN provides a neutral forum for governments, NGOs, scientists, business and local communities to find practical solutions to conservation and development challenges, and it is implementing thousands of field projects and activities around the world.

Written by: Johanna Mustelin