Monday, September 29, 2014

James Cook University State of the Tropics in the running for top green award

The landmark State of the Tropics project is in the running for a prestigious sustainability prize, emerging as a finalist for one of the coveted Green Gown Awards.

The Green Gown Awards Australasia recognise and reward universities and other tertiary institutions for their sustainability actions and initiatives.

JCU Environmental Sciences
Study environmental sciences at Australia’s “tropical” university—James Cook University!

Led by James Cook University, the State of the Tropics project is a ground-breaking initiative that brings together leading research institutions from across the world’s tropical regions to answer the simple question: is life in the Tropics improving?

Nobel Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, launched the project’s first major report in Yangon in June. The project is a finalist in the “Social Responsibility” category.

James Cook University Vice Chancellor, Professor Sandra Harding said the nomination reflects the quality and breadth of the State of the Tropics project.

“The State of the Tropics is more than a research project. It delivers important contemporary data which show that while the Tropics is home to forty percent of the world’s population, it hosts about eighty percent of its terrestrial biodiversity. And by 2050, more than two-thirds of the world’s children under fifteen years of age will be living in the Tropics.”

Professor Harding said the report demonstrates the great demographic, environmental and geopolitical significance of the region, describes the grand challenges facing the world’s tropical regions, and provides a baseline for a more sustainable global future.

“Given the international collaborative nature of the project and widespread publicity, the capacity of this project to raise awareness of sustainability issues facing the Tropics cannot be overstated,” Professor Harding said.

James Cook University is also a finalist in four other categories:
  • “Learning and Teaching”
  • “Student Engagement”
  • ACTS Awards of Excellence – Staff Finalists” (JCU Environment Manager, Adam Connell)
  • ACTS Awards of Excellence – Student Finalists” (Lucy Graham and Max Burns)
Last year JCU won the “ACTS Award of Excellence – Institutional” for its efforts to boost sustainability. The winners of the 2014 Green Gown awards will be announced in Hobart on Nov. 6.


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