Post by Jack Hetherington
Day one of the AARES Conference 2018 kicked off with a welcome to country by Ms Georgina Williams, Kaurna Senior Woman, followed by a speech from the Hon. Jay Weatherill. The conference keynote addresses explored the realms of Supply-Side Environmental Policy with Bard Harstad and making Australia the energy superpower of the low carbon world economy with Ross Garnaut.
Following morning tea, the conference delegates dispersed into an abundance of parallel sessions ranging from conservation agricultural adoption in the Eastern Gangetic Plains to perception of fish reserves by Australian recreational fishers.
Some of the highlights from the day were from Global Food and Resources (GFAR) PhD student, Christian Genova II, showing market engagement is really important for child nutrition in ethnic minorities in Vietnam. In his presentation, Jerome Dupras from the Université du Québec en Outaouais, showed that intercropping can help reduce the land needed for production by 30%.
The afternoon saw Prof Quentin Grafton give his Presidential Address. The audience received a crash course on the hydrological principles that are critical to get right before we can make any assessment of value for money for investments into the Murray Darling Basin.
Dinner with a view was had at the Adelaide Oval. The conference dinner and award ceremony was enjoyed overlooking the cricket pitch. Former Liberal Senator, Amanda Vanstone gave the formal address at the dinner. She noted how incredibly important researchers are for helping our society to innovate and overcome the challenges we all face. She stressed the importance of researchers better communicating the “bottom-line” of the research to enable policy-makers the key messages they need to implement change.
Prof Christopher Findlay, Executive Dean of the Faculty of the Professions at the University of Adelaide, said it best when he described AARES as ‘an agile evolving community addressing big important issues of our time’.