Financial reshuffle for environmental sciences | Canberra weather


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A government-funded research center dedicated to endangered species in Australia will see its funding cut off from the middle of next year. However, the coalition government says four new environmental science centers will have an “endangered species lens”. Environment Minister Sussan Ley on Thursday announced the next phase of the National Environmental Science Program. About $ 149 million will be invested in four new research hubs over the next seven years, building on the $ 145 million invested in the first phase of the program. CSIRO will host a Climate Systems Center, led by Global Ocean and Climate Modeler Dr Simon Marsland. The consortium – which includes the Bureau of Meteorology and the Australian National University – will seek to understand the drivers of precipitation, drought and bushfires and explore climate adaptation solutions for Australia. The Resilient Landscapes Hub – hosted by the University of Western Australia in partnership with 13 institutions, including the University of Newcastle and the University of Tasmania – will study the resilience and sustainability of terrestrial and freshwater habitats in the Australia. The center will also provide national leadership in endangered species research. But the center dedicated to the recovery of endangered species – which includes 150 of Australia’s leading environmental scientists – will not be funded as part of the next phase of the program. Ms Ley said all centers would focus on endangered species as it was a “national priority”. “Everyone who works in each hub will have a target on endangered species,” she said. “This work may not always be done in the same place and it will not always be done with the same people, but what I always focus on are the practical results for our endangered species in our landscapes.” Ms Ley also said the government has separately invested $ 200 million to help native wildlife and their habitats recover from the fires. An estimated three billion animals were killed or displaced in last season’s devastating bushfires. Recent research revealed that there had been a 14-18% drop in platypus populations in areas affected by the fires. WWF-Australia also estimates that 60,000 koalas perished in the fires. The Endangered Species Scientific Committee is considering whether the koala should be reclassified as endangered. Other hubs funded under the next phase of the National Environmental Science Program include the Marine and Coastal Hub, which will be hosted by the Reef and Rainforest Research Center in Cairns and the University of Tasmania. Professor Veena Sahajwalla will lead the Sustainable Communities and Waste Hub, which will be hosted by the University of New South Wales. The hub will look for ways to reduce the impact of plastic, increase sustainability and find solutions to remove hazardous waste and pollutants from the environment. It comes after the ban on exporting waste from Australia was passed by Parliament on Tuesday. Ms Ley said at the time that the laws would send “a strong message that it is time to take responsibility for our waste, seize economic opportunities to transform our recycling industry and stop sending waste. problems abroad “. The funding also comes as the Australian National University prepares to eliminate more than 100 staff from the College of Science. Environmental sciences have suffered drastic cuts as part of Coalition university funding reforms. Ms Ley said she “did not accept the characterization” that science had been affected by the reshuffle of university funding.


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