Push for International Day of Tropics gathers speed

James Cook University Vice Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding has travelled to the United Nations in New York to participate in the launch of the public campaign for the creation of an International Day of the Tropics, which would deliver benefits for Northern Queensland and beyond.

In September, the Australian Government announced it would lead efforts to establish the 29th of June as the International Day of the Tropics. The proposal was be formally launched at the UN last week.

James Cook University Australia
Aerial shot of JCU Cairns campus

Professor Harding said she strongly supports the Australian Government’s push to recognise the global significance of the Tropics.

“An International Day of the Tropics will call into account the development of the tropical world. Australia is a developed country with the largest tropical land mass and we have the experience, skills, and knowledge to share to the benefit of this region,” Prof Harding said.

Professor Harding said an International Day of the Tropics would be very important step forward for Northern Queensland.

“We know how to do business, build cities and prosper in tropical conditions. The things we do here each day are going to be in high demand throughout the tropical world.”

Prof Harding said the North is standing on the cusp of an enormous growth in export earnings.

“Jobs growth, innovation—all of that can come out of this particular focus on similar geographies and climates, health, environment and the economic development challenges of the tropical world. We can advance a new set of exporting industries that tap into our ‘tropical expertise’ and provide the infrastructure and other needs of the growing Tropics.”

The 29th of June is the anniversary of the launch of the inaugural State of the Tropics report. Nobel Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, launched the project’s first major report in Yangon, Myanmar in 2014. State of the Tropics is convened by James Cook University and draws on the expertise of leading institutions from around the world.

The ground-breaking State of the Tropics report confirms 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.

The Tropics is home to 40% of the world’s population, and it hosts about 80% of its terrestrial biodiversity. By 2050, more than two-thirds of the world’s children under 15 years of age will be living in the Tropics.

James Cook University

As a leading research university, JCU provides excellent facilities for teaching and learning. JCU teaching staff are highly qualified and dedicated, and many JCU academics are considered to be leaders in their fields. The unique location of James Cook University allows nationally significant and internationally-recognized research to be conducted by both staff and students. Much research focus is based on the industries and environments of northern Australia including marine biology, biodiversity, tropical environmental studies, earth sciences/geology, engineering, tropical health and tourism. JCU is a member of the prestigious national alliance, Innovative Research Universities and has as its vision to be one of the world’s leading research universities in the tropics.

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