Now more than ever, global environmental issues are at the forefront of our mind. In the past few months alone we have witnessed large scale devastation. In particular, we have seen the effects of climate change, increased human population and the wildlife trade in the form of unprecedented bush fire damage in south eastern Australia and COVID-19.
We, as most, are deeply saddened over the loss of biodiversity, lives and livelihoods and are concerned about the future. After grappling with the decision of whether or not to continue with our bid to host the 2023 Biennial Conference on Marine Mammals, we agreed to move forward in a way that would embrace positive change.
Our vision is to host an enriching and sustainable conference. A key aim is to set a new benchmark for the sustainability of SMM conferences, and our scientific program will focus on contemporary issues including human dimensions, climate change and the development of new technology that can also reduce potential impacts of our research.
We are mindful of the carbon footprint associated with conferences, including air travel that will be involved in bringing our community together. We are aware of the need to source ethical goods and services for delegates, and to minimise waste. We believe it is important to address questions such as "How can we reduce, and best offset, our footprint?", "How was it harvested?", "What were the animal welfare implications?", "How far has it been transported?", "How can we avoid the use of plastic?", and most of all "How can we do this better"?
So far, we have followed the plastic free principle by sourcing carbon neutral, plastic free promotional products for our bidding campaign. We have also secured AU$25,000 for carbon offsets, which would be a 50% contribution toward a goal of AU$50,000.
We have a dedicated sustainability manager and are developing the 2023 Sustainability Strategy, and framework that can be used for future conferences. A non-exhaustive list of our actions include
Copyright © 2019 Come Say G'day
Photos: Aimee Jan | Jana McGeachy | John Totterdell | Simon Allen | Krista Nicholson | Daniella Hanf | DBCA Swan River Guardians | Tourism WA