Tim Flannery addresses the conference

19 September 2013 — The 2007 Australian of the Year Tim Flannery opened the 2013 International BiodiverCities Conference at Joondalup by saying human beings may be the brain of the planet, but they must co-operate with all forms of life in the ecosystem if nature is allowed to thrive.

Mr Flannery made it clear during his speech that he had a zero-tolerance policy to the extinction of any species.

The conference, from 9-11 September, was hosted by the City of Joondalup in partnership with the ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability and the Western Australian Local Government Association.

Other keynote speakers were Andre Mader and Michael Dunlop with speakers and delegates from around the world taking part.

Topics discussed included:

  • How man is changing the climate and what it means for life on earth
  • Valuing urban ecosystems in a changing climate
  • Using biodiversity to build a climate smart city
  • Restoring biodiversity through corporate and community partnerships
  • Redesigning our cities as ecosystem service centres in a challenging climate.

Joondalup Mayor Troy Pickard said each of the keynote speakers delivered first-class presentations.

“Professor Flannery’s engaging and relevant speech was the perfect start to the conference and each of the speakers thereafter provided thought-provoking and informative presentations that reinforced the need for local action when it comes to biodiversity conservation,” he said.

Delegates were also taken on a guided night stalk tour and bush tucker tour of Neil Hawkins Park and visited diversity-rich locations throughout the city including the Hepburn Heights Conservation Area.

“Our stunning natural bushland left a lasting impression on our guests, particularly those from overseas,” Mr Pickard said.

“We truly are blessed to call this beautiful part of the world home and it is little wonder Joondalup is recognised internationally for its liveability because of these outstanding natural assets on our doorsteps.

“Hosting such a successful international conference demonstrates Joondalup’s commitment to environmental management and symbolises the City’s growing reputation as a global leader in local government.”

The carbon footprint of the 2013 International BiodiverCities Conference was calculated by Carbon Neutral and  emissions related to the conference, including travel, energy, food, waste and paper will be offset with the planting of biodiverse native trees that will help rehabilitate rural Australia, lock in carbon and provide habitat for animals, plants and birds.