Andrew Harford, Conference Chair

SETAC Australasia (SETAC-AU) will be holding their biennial conference from 7–10 July 2019 in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. The conference will attract the best Australian and New Zealand research, government and industry representatives to discuss the current leading practices in our field. We also hope that many of our international colleagues will attend the meeting, especially those within our Asia-Pacific geographic unit.

SETAC-AU is the largest and most active chapter in the Asia-Pacific geographic unit. The theme of the conference is “Protecting and improving the environment through collaboration – across disciplines and across borders.” The society’s focus on building bridges was a key reason we have chosen to bring the conference to northern Australia and closer to our colleagues within Asia-Pacific. The chapter is making significant improvements engaging with our colleagues in the region, and bringing the conference to Darwin will help continue that engagement, which will be especially beneficial in the lead-up to the 2020 World Congress in Singapore. SETAC-AU is also working to strengthen our relationships with societies that have overlapping interests, and we are inviting other societies to join us to create special sessions that are attractive to their members as well as our own.

The chapter’s rich history is laden with achievements that have demonstrated the benefits of SETAC’s distinctive tripartite approach to maximize environmental outcomes through sharing knowledge. This conference will showcase this capacity with workshops, discussion forums and special sessions aimed at addressing the environmental questions that we share. The conference and associated workshops will cover topics and themes of high-interest to all our SETAC colleagues. We have numerous pre- and post-conference workshops in the pipeline that aim to increase the capacity of our members and potential new members. We are delighted to be able to provide a range of excellent plenary and keynote speakers from within the chapter and abroad. Further details can be at found on the meeting website.

It is also fitting to have our next conference in picturesque Darwin as the tropical top-end of Australia is a hotspot for biodiversity, natural and cultural wonders. It is also a region that is rich in natural resources and has seen increasing pressures from industrial development and the legacy of historical mining activities. As such, it is a place where knowledge sharing offers a real opportunity for the long-term sustainable development of tropical environments. We encourage you find a little extra time to escape cold weather and explore our breath-taking, unique environments such as Kakadu, Litchfield and the Kimberley regions during the dry season.

Author’s contact information: Andrew.Harford@environment.gov.au

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