The three-day event featured regional and international guests addressing climate change and its effect on biodiversity, and it was the first time the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) had met in the Asia Pacific.
Opening the conference was 2007 Australian of the Year Tim Flannery, who said humans had to co-operate with all forms of life in the ecosystem if nature was to thrive. He said he had a zero tolerance policy towards the extinction of any species.
Many interstate and local speakers joined Prof Flannery, as well as overseas’ delegates from Taiwan, India, Sweden, South Africa, Mexico, Indonesia, Africa and New Zealand. They were taken on tours of Neil Hawkins Park and the Hepburn Heights Conservation Area and visited the Naturaliste Marine Discovery Centre at Hillarys, particularly impressing overseas guests.
Topics discussed included how to use biodiversity to build a climate-smart city, valuing urban ecosystems in a changing climate and restoring biodiversity through corporate and community partnerships.
Joondalup Mayor Troy Pickard said the speakers provided ‘thought provoking and informative presentations that reinforced the need for local action when it comes to biodiversity conservation’.
The conference was hosted by the City of Joondalup, the ICLEI and the WA Local Government Association.