The Australian Rangeland Society 2019 conference in Canberra provided a great opportunity to reflect on the current state of our treasured ecosystems, drawing on lessons from the past and looking to the future. The central tenet of the conference focussed on integrating environment and livelihoods, and the presentations made it clear that the rangeland community overwhelmingly work towards a common goal: resilient and sustainable rangelands that provide cultural, societal, environmental and economic outcomes simultaneously.
Range Management Newsletter 19/3
Two attendees at the recent ARS Biennial Conference, Matthew Fletcher and Sarah McDonald, reflect on why they believe it was a beneficial experience for those who live and/or work in the rangelands.
At the 2019 Biennial Conference of the Australian Rangeland Society, CSIRO Publishing and The Rangeland Journal jointly sponsored prizes for the Best Poster and the Best Oral Presentation for work relevant to the interests and scope of the journal.
Unfortunately, and to its detriment, broadacre agriculture is not always an evidence-based industry at producer level. Yes, there are areas where evidence drives what is done, but it is far from universal. Too much attention is placed on fads and searches for silver bullets.
Beginning in early 2016, many organizations began working together to gain support for a United Nations designated International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists (IYRP). This led to the formalization of an IYRP Steering Committee that has spearheaded this effort by actively engaging with colleagues and interested parties around the world. The ARS is backing the bid for an IYRP fully and has been lobbying governments in Australia to provide support.
Preparations for the 2020 IGC-IRC Congress, to be held in Nairobi, Kenya from 25-30 October, are progressing well. Keynote Speakers have been announced and online registrations have opened with early bird discounts offered until 15 May.
That stalwart of the Australian Rangeland Society, Adjunct Associate Professor Ralph ‘Wal’ Whalley of the University of New England (UNE), will be retiring from his positions as a member of the Society’s Publications Committee and Associate Editor of The Rangeland Journal from 31 December 2019.
Dr Ron Hacker has been a member of the Publication Committee as an Associate Editor in 2012 and Chair since 2013. He is now wishing to step down from the important position as PC Chair, but will mentor and guide a new Chair to ensure a smooth transition.
There are a number of online outlets that regularly publish interesting articles about the rangelands. Here are a few stories you may have missed in recent months.
Don Burnside provides an update on the current membership of the Australian Rangeland Society.
With the new ARS website now up and running I am expecting the next issue of the RMN to arrive on schedule in March.