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04/29/2009

Griffith to lead national climate change network

Griffith University welcomed Climate Change Minister Penny Wong's announcement that it will host the Water Resources and Freshwater Biodiversity network of the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility.

Griffith University Vice Chancellor Professor Ian O'Connor said this would enable the network to be co-located with NCCARF's national headquarters at Griffith as well as Griffith's three flagship water research centres.

These include the Australian Rivers Institute; the national Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge research program's Queensland hub and the Queensland Government's Smart Water Research Facility.

"These centres already have research underway into the impact of climate change, land use and environmental degradation on Australia's precious water resources," he said.

"Network members will have access to this critical mass in water expertise Griffith has built since establishing Australia's first school of environmental studies in the 1970s," he said.

Australian Rivers Institute Director and newly-appointed National Water Commissioner Professor Stuart Bunn will lead the network at Griffith.

Professor Bunn said activities would be coordinated around four key ‘adaptation’ themes: Water allocation, markets and trading; water resources; biodiversity and ecosystem health; and climate scenarios.

"The goal is to develop collaborative, cross-disciplinary research at the national level and to synthesise this knowledge to give Australian water and biodiversity managers the best chance of coping with a difficult climate future," he said.

"It brings together Australia’s top water scientists supported by more than 20 partner research institutions from across the country with a node in each state and territory."

All seven networks will be administered by the National Climate Change Adaptation Facility also based at Griffith University, Queensland.

The Facility was established under the Federal Department of Climate Change and charged with providing national leadership in the development and implementation of adaptation plans in key priority sectors such as water resources, primary industries, built environment, human health and biodiversity conservation.

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