Panel Discussions Stimulate Conversation at State NRM Conference

SNRM Conference 2015

Technology, community engagement and investment in natural resource management (NRM) are among key topics selected landcare experts will discuss at special interactive panel sessions during the upcoming State NRM Conference being held in Mandurah from 21-23 September 2015.

Organisers have assembled key speakers and thought leaders from various NRM disciplines, with the panels for the two panel sessions on day three, NRM Futures and Indigenous People, NRM and Landcare, drawn from academia, research, agriculture, science and resources.

John Holley, co-convenor of the State NRM conference , said the popular panel format, incorporating a question and answer session with experts, would provide an opportunity for interactive discussions.

"This type of discussion will provide a valuable forum at the conference. The amount of environment and agriculture funding is a small proportion of the total public funds currently and is unlikely to increase, while the challenges facing NRM are enormous and growing," said Mr Holley.

"There has been a strong history of local community conservation in WA, with recognition of traditional indigenous and early European management, through to the voluntary efforts of local landcare groups we witness today."

Dr Kathleen Broderick, co-convenor of the Conference said, "Over time, our understanding of the best ways to manage natural resources has evolved, threats have emerged and the focus of our activities has changed. Salinity and changing climate are very real in WA, for example."

"Both of these expert panels will draw the conversation on how we influence change, and how we react and develop to these issues," Dr Broderick said.

The Indigenous People, NRM and Landcare panel session will held on Wednesday 23 September from 10.00 - 11.00am. It will focus on practical examples of how Aboriginal people in Western Australia are already participating in NRM and landcare activities, and how these initiatives are contributing to community partnerships, regional and national priorities such as Closing the Gap and potential social, environmental and economic outcomes.

The panel will be chaired by Mitch Jeffery, Indigenous NRM and MERI Policy Officer with the Biodiversity Conservation Division of the Department of the Environment. Panel members are Mark Chmielewski, Program Manager, Indigenous Landholder Service, Department of Agriculture and Food WA; Kelly Flugge, Southern Agricultural Indigenous Landholder Service Program Manager, Department of Agriculture and Food WA; and Carl Beck, CEO, South Coast NRM.

The NRM Futures panel session will be held from 2.30-3.30pm and focus on big data and monitoring, strong relationships and networks within NRM, and the challenges of securing investment in NRM.

Chair of the panel is Dr Ron Edwards, member of the National Landcare Advisory Council, and contributing members are Dr Denis Saunders AM, Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists; Brian Ramsay, Managing Director, Inovact Consulting, and Sue Middleton, currently chair of the National Landcare Advisory Committee and the WA Regional Development Trust.

For more information or to apply or register, visit