A snapshot of climate change activities

Since it's establishment in 2007, the Griffith Climate Change Response Program is engaging in an array of research, engagement and community activities. This gallery provides a snapshot of some highlights.

A number of researchers from the Griffith Climate Change Response Program (GCCRP) attended as observers at the UN Climate Change Conference held in Katowice, Poland (COP 24) from 2 - 14 December 2018. Dr Johanna Nalau of the GCCRP provided the High Level Statement on behalf of RINGOs (Research and Independent Non-Government Organisations) at the Plenary. Researchers are also participated in various side events at COP 24.

  • See the recording of Needs-based Climate Finance Strategy in Melanesia - initiative led by the Melanesian Spearhead Group with the support of the UNFCCC Secretariat and Griffith University.  Dr Tim Cadman, Research Fellow, GCCRP and Institute for Ethics, Governance and Law, moderated the event

On 2 & 3 November 2018 the Collaborative Australia-Indonesia Program for Sustainable Development and Climate Change was launched in Jakarta. The two-day event included the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for the Program between Griffith University and Universitas Indonesia, followed by academic discussions in the area of sustainable development and climate change. Prof Brendan Mackey, Director, Griffith Climate Change Response Program (GCCRP) is pictured at the MoU signing. GCCRP will lead efforts to develop, seek funding for, and implement externally funded collaborative multidisciplinary research projects involving Griffith and Indonesian research institutions and government agencies within the broad field of sustainable development and climate change.

On 24 August 2018 the Griffith Climate Change Response Program hosted an eminent Panel Discussion and Book Launch, centered around the theme - Climate change update: Moving forward on adaptation.

The panel - Prof Mark Howden (ANU Climate Change Institute), Prof Roger Street (Oxford University) and Georgine Roodenrys (Qld Government) - shed light on the forthcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 6th Assessment Report and shared insights into how the Irish, UK, Canadian and Japanese governments are responding to growing climate risks and the state of play with the Queensland Climate Adaptation Strategy. The book, Limits to Climate Change Adaptation, was also launched. Dr Johanna Nalau, co-editor of the book and IPCC 6th Assessment Report Lead Author, presented some of the main findings from the book.

On 23 August 2018, special guest, Professor Seon Ki Park, from the Dept of Environmental Science & Engineering and the Dept of Climate & Energy Systems Engineering, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea, presented a seminar, Integrated regional environment/climate prediction system: Coupled modeling, parameter estimation and data assimilation.  Professor Park discussed Atmospheric Sciences at Ewha Womans University; Numerical Weather/Climate/Environment Prediction; Sensitivity Studies; Subgrid-scale Parameterizations; Optimal Parameter Estimation; Coupled Data Assimilation; Projection of Local Climate Change; and RECIPE (Regional Environment/Climate Prediction System).

Photo - Dr Serena Lee, Professor Brendan Mackey, and Dr Willow Hallgren from the Griffith Climate Change Response Program with Professor Park.

On 21 August 2018, special guest Professor Patrick Nunn, Associate Director, Sustainability Research Centre, University of Sunshine Coast presented a seminar: Improving the Effectiveness and Sustainability of Climate-Change Adaptation Outcomes in the Pacific.  The seminar included a discussion about the role of faith/spirituality in contributing to the acceptance of adaptation by affected communities, especially those in rural parts of the Pacific Islands region where environmental governance (and decision-making more generally) is commonly filtered through religious beliefs was the focus of some of the discussion.

On 15 August 2018 Professor Brendan Mackey, Director of the Griffith Climate Change Response Program, presented a seminar at the Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science at the James Cook University in Cairns. The abstract for his seminar was: Ecosystems throughout the world are being degraded from modern developments including industrial scale land use and transport infrastructure. At the same time, we are experiencing unprecedented human-forced climate change. Together, they are leading to a break down in natural connectivity and dramatic shifts in ecosystem dynamics and species responses. Large scale connectivity conservation has been proposed as an appropriate and necessary response to these threats to ecosystem integrity and biodiversity.

Repository of past event recordings

The Griffith Climate Change Response Program was a sponsor of the Narratives of Climate Change Symposium which was held at the University of Newcastle on 5 & 6 July 2018. The symposium was an interdisciplinary collaboration inspired by the possibility that the gap between scientific knowledge and effective political, legal and social action can be bridged by alternative forms of narrative, incorporated into and developed by artistic creations, works of fiction, social and other media, performances of all types including theatrical, activist and absurdist, visionary planning and innovative litigation such as the Children’s Trust lawsuits.

Dr Esther Onyango (in photo) presented at the Symposium as did Prof Brendan Mackey of the Griffith Climate Change Response Program.

On 11 June 2018 the Collaborative Australia-Indonesia Program for Sustainable Development and Climate Change was launched by the Griffith University Vice Chancellor and President, Prof Ian O'Connor with the Indonesian President's Special Envoy for Climate Change, the Hon Prof Rachmat Witoelar, at Griffith University's Nathan campus. The Program will facilitate high-level bilateral dialogues, multidisciplinary research collaborations, higher degree research support and student mobility opportunities with an emphasis on contributing to sustainable development in Indonesia and enhanced knowledge and capacity in responding to the challenges of climate change. Speakers at the event were Prof Ian O'Connor, Prof Caitlin Byrne (Director, Griffith Asia Institute), the Hon Rachmat Witoelar and Prof Brendan Mackey (Director, Griffith Climate Change Response Program).

Launch of the Collaborative Australia-Indonesia Program for Sustainable Development and Climate Change

The Hon Rachmat Witoelar

CAISDCC Launch

Alongside members and Directors from the Griffith Asia Institute, Griffith Climate Change Response Program, Centre for Environment and Population Health, Centre for Excellence in Sustainable Development in Indonesia, Centre for Governance and Public Policy, Griffith International, Centre for Interfaith and Cultural Dialogue, Cities Research Institute, the Griffith Business School and Griffith University Indonesian students, guests at the event included those from the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia, Australia-Indonesia Business Council and the Queensland Department of Environment & Heritage Protection.

The Hon Rachmat Witoelar Seminar Group Photo

On 8 June 2018 the Griffith Climate Change Response Program was proud to present a public seminar at the South Bank campus, from our special guest, the Hon Prof Rachmat Witoelar, The Indonesian President's Special Envoy for Climate Change: Long-term vision on Sustainable Development Goals and climate actions. It was an uplifting evening with a good mix of upcoming sustainability entrepreneurs, Indonesian students and State and local government representatives. One key message from the seminar was the critical role that Non-State Actors (NSAs) are now playing in taking actions against climate change.

USP and Griffith University MoU

The University of the South Pacific (USP) and Griffith University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for collaborative research for a period of five years.

The MoU was signed by Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President of USP on 4 May 2018 and counter signed by Professor Ian O’Connor, Vice-Chancellor and President of Griffith University on 22 May 2018.

Dan Ware and Dr Ed Morgan, from the Griffith Climate Change Response Program visited Emalus Campus at USP on 11 May 2018 to discuss opportunities and it was agreed that USP will be part of their upcoming research studies in the Pacific.

In photo - Dan Ware (left) and Dr Ed Morgan (right) of Griffith Climate Change Response Program with Dr Krishna Kotra, Science Programme Coordinator during their visit to the Emalus Campus.

In March 2018 the inaugural annual symposium of the Primary Tropical Forests and Climate Change project was held at Springbrook, Queensland, Australia. The project leader is Prof Brendan Mackey, Director, Griffith Climate Change Response Program. The Australian Rainforest Conservation Society is a partner in the project and was the venue host.

Day 3 of the Symposium was a field trip at Springbrook. 14 of the Symposium researchers braved the Twin Falls Track.

The circuit involved walking behind waterfalls ...

The Best of All Lookout is home to an Ancient Antarctic Beech Forest.

A close up view from the Best of All Lookout with Mt Springbrook in the foreground.

Day 3 of the Symposium was a field trip at Springbrook. 14 of the Symposium researchers braved the Twin Falls Track.

The circuit involved walking behind waterfalls ...

The Best of All Lookout is home to an Ancient Antarctic Beech Forest.

A close up view from the Best of All Lookout with Mt Springbrook in the foreground.

Samuel Mackay and Madeleine McGann at PNG meeting.

In March 2018 Sam Mackay (Program Manager, Griffith Climate Change Response Program) and Madeleine McGann (iCLIM Project Officer) participated in a workshop about the importance of climate change information and knowledge management and its critical role in adaptation planning and resilience planning with delegates from the Government of Papua New Guinea.  Hosted by the Office of Climate Change and Development Authority (CCDA), the workshop saw participants agree on priority actions for establishing a strategic framework and work plan for the CCDA, as the lead government climate change agency.

Dr Tim Cadman and Dr Ed Morgan from the Griffith Climate Change Response Program led a "Laboratory" at the Solutions Pavilion at the Global Landscapes Forum that was held in Bonn, Germany from 19-20 December 2017.The Global Landscapes Forum sparks and sustains conversations on sustainability. It is the world’s largest, science-led multi-sectoral platform, engaging through global, regional and local events, national policy dialogues and online Digital Summits. At the laboratory they showcased the Primary forest and climate change project and Tim presented his interactive Climate Regime Map.

Primary Tropical Forests presentation and Climate Regime Map presentations in Bonn, Germany.

IUCN Workshop hosted by GCCRP

In November/December 2017 Professor Brendan Mackey co-hosted a workshop in Brisbane - The International Union for Conservation of Nature (National Committee of Australia) (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Beyond the Aichi Targets Task Force Australian Consultation. Participants discussed the next generation of area-based conservation targets under the post-2020 biodiversity strategy.

Professor Brendan Mackey, Director, Griffith Climate Change Response Program moderated a side event, "Oceania and Climate Change: Perspectives from the Blue Continent", at 15 November 2017, during the COP23 held in Bonn, Germany. It was organised by the International Union for Conservation of Nature regional office.

Prof Mackey presenting at COP23 side event.

Prof Mackey presenting at COP23 side event

Representatives from the Griffith Climate Change Response Program attended COP23 in Bonn in November 2017. While at COP23 they presented at a side event of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) - What role of primary forests, including intact forest landscapes, in climate change mitigation and adaptation? Professor Brendan Mackey along with Phillip Duffy (Wood Holes Research Centre) and Virginia Young (Australian Rainforest Conservation Society) discussed the climate change mitigation and adaptation significance of primary forests, including intact forest landscapes, and considered the policy implications for the Paris Agreement guidelines and rules. The Griffith Climate Change Response Program along with the Wood Holes Research Centre and the Australian Rainforest Conservation Society and other research partners are working on the Primary forest and climate change project which considers these issues.

In November 2017 visitors from the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES), The University of the West Indies, Barbados were hosted by the Griffith Climate Change Response Program.  The purpose of the five-day visit was to build a collaborative research relationship with Griffith University, particularly across the Griffith Climate Change Response Program and the Australian Rivers Institute, through synergistic studies around water, disasters and climate change in Small Island Developing States. In the photo from Griffith University - Dr Oz Sahin, Dan Ware, Dr Wade Hadwen, Prof Brendan Mackey, Gaelle Faivre, Camaria Holder and Dr Serena Lee.  In the photo from CERMES -  Prof Adrian Cashman (Director), Crystal Dasent (Research Associate), Crystal Drakes (Research Associate) and Tara Mackey (PhD candidate).

UWI Visitors to Griffith University

Dr Johanna Nalau presenting at Emmanuel College

Dr Johanna Nalau, Research Fellow, Griffith Climate Change Response Program and Griffith Institute for Tourism, providing a presentation about climate change adaptation to year 7 students at Emmanuel College, Gold Coast in August 2017.

Professor Brendan Mackey, Director, Griffith Climate Change Response Program, participating in the Eco Forum Global (EFG) in Guiyang and the EFG Seminar about World Heritage Application and National Park Construction in Anshun, China in June 2017.

Professor Mackey was appointed as an expert advisor to Anshun Huangguoshu World Cultural and National Heritage Declaration by the Anshun Muncipal People's Government. The term of appointment is June 2017 to June 2020.

Prof Mackey attending the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report meeting in May 2017

Professor Brendan Mackey participating in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) Scoping Meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in May 2017.

The IPCC is the leading body for the assessment of climate change. At the meeting in Ethiopia there were over 200 experts from 60 countries working on drafting the outline of AR6. The agreed outline will allow IPCC authors to prepare a comprehensive, balanced and objective assessment of our knowledge of climate change that is relevant to policymakers at all levels and in all regions. AR6 is expected to be ready for release in 2022.

Ecosystem and socio-economic resilience analysis and mapping (ESRAM)

In  November 2016 the ESRAM project team visited Vanuatu, including Tanna Island. The team carried out marine, vegetation and cultural surveys, and stakeholder engagement and training.

Professor Brendan Mackey with representatives from the Gold Coast & Hinterland Environment Council (Gecko) meeting with the Hon Dr Steven Miles, Queensland Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef, at the Community Cabinet meeting in October 2016. At the meeting, Professor Mackey displayed a portable solar power system from Ledtek and there was discussion about the Climate Change for Good Conference which Gecko and the Griffith Climate Change Response Program co-hosted at Griffith University in October 2016. Minister Miles was a keynote speaker at the conference.

Community Cabinet Meeting

Evaluating the re-building of Tanna Island, Vanuatu

In April 2016 Griffith University researchers working on the "Evaluating the re-building of Tanna Island" research project, were invited to the opening of the first solar-powered, Category 5 cyclone proof building on Tanna Island.

Mary Robinson and Dr Nalau

In March 2016 Dr Johanna Nalau, Paul Nalau (Vanuatu Government representative) and Professor Mackey met with Mrs Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and founder of The Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice. They discussed the Griffith Climate Change Response Program Pacific iClim project, integrating human rights elements into country and adaptation reporting methodologies and related issues.

Dr Tim Cadman (second from the right), Research Fellow, Institute for Ethics, Governance and Law and Griffith Climate Change Response Program. participating in the Integrity Dialogue on Climate Change Adaptation Finance Transparency: Accountability and Participation, held in Bangladesh in March 2016.

Dr Tim Cadman at the Integrity Dialogue

Members of the Griffith Climate Change Response Program participated in various side events at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015 (COP21):

COP21 side event

Dr Tim Cadman at side event at COP21

President of Kirabati at COP21

Professor Brendan Mackey gave an overview science address on the topic “Forests and oceans: why do they matter in the fight against climate change?” at the Forests and Oceans: for the People side event. The event was organised by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) International and held at the Climate Generations Area. Opening addresses by Manuel Pulgar Vidal, Minister of Environment of Peru and Yolanda Kakabadse, President, WWF International.

Dr Tim Cadman presented his online and interactive climate change governance map at the COP21 side event Global Landscapes Forum.

President of Kiribati speaking at the COP21 side event UNESCO Sites as Climate Change Observatories: the contributions of World Heritage Sites, Biosphere Reserves and Global Geoparks for Climate Knowledge and Action. Professor Brendan Mackey was the event moderator.

IUCN Meeting in Switzerland

Professor Brendan Mackey is a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). In May 2015 he  participated in the IUCN meeting in Switzerland.

The Griffith Climate Change Response Program hosts various visitors:

Ron Archer visit

Rachmat Witoelar visit

In July 2015 Rob Archer, Aboriginal Elder and Director of the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance Ltd (NAILSMA) visited.  NAILSMA is an Indigenous led not-for-profit company operating across north Australia who assist Indigenous people manage their country sustainably for all future generations.

The Hon Rachmat Witolear, Indonesian President's Envoy for Climate Change and Erna Witoelar are regular visitors to Griffith University. In April 2015 they participated at a climate change round table dialogue.

In May/June 2015 fellows from Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu visited the Griffith Climate Change Response Program for an Australia Awards Fellowship program focused on valuing culture and nature for sustainable natural resource management:

Aust Awards Fellowship visit

Aust Awards Fellowship visit

Aust Awards Fellowship visit

Group photo of the Fellows with Dan Ware of the Griffith Climate Change Response Program.

Professor Sarah Todd, Pro Vice Chancellor (Griffith International) with Stanley Wapot, Melanesian Spearhead Group Secretariat, and, Professor Brendan Mackey.

Melanesian Fellows in Dimbulah Wungu country.

In October/November 2014 Griffith University sponsored the Mua Voyage project's visit to the Gold Coast, just one of the ports of call for the traditional “vakas”. They left their Pacific Island homes on 24 September to begin a 6000-nautical mile journey across the ocean and down the east coast of Australia. The aim of Mua Voyage was to raise awareness of the vulnerability and the preciousness of the Pacific Ocean environment and the communities that call it home and depend upon it:

MUA

MUA

MUA

Marshallese poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner

Presentation at the United Nations Climate Leaders Summit in 2014

Marshallese poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner speaks on behalf of civil society during the opening ceremony of the UN Climate Leaders Summit in New York City.

Griffith Climate Change Response Program