The conference bid was led by former Queensland Chief Scientist, Professor Hugh Possingham, who is also the Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow in the School of Biological Sciences, at the University of Queensland, and a BCEC Advocate.
The bid was supported by BCEC, Brisbane Economic Development Agency (BEDA), Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) and received funding from the Business Events Bid Fund, administered by Tourism Australia. The local hosting association will be the Society of Conservation Biology Oceania.
“Hosting the congress in Australia is an opportunity to create real change through an interdisciplinary approach to solving our conservation biology issues, bringing together ecologists, geographers, social scientists, economists and policy makers to create scalable solutions,” said Possingham.
Organisers of the Australian congress are also hoping to use the event as a platform to encourage public debate and awareness of conservation through ‘science at the pub’ nights through the event, as well as helping delegates positively contribute to conservation in Australia, by creating an avenue for them to offset the carbon footprint of the event attendance by funding koala habitats.
With Australia home to the second largest number of endemic species of any country globally, Brisbane’s Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner says Brisbane’s credentials make it stand out as a host destination for a conservation conference.
“Brisbane is one of Australia’s greenest cities and the most biodiverse capital city in Australia, globally recognised for our natural environment and bold strides in sustainability,” he said.
General manager of BCEC, Kym Guesdon said environmental and community impacts were also front of mind for the venue.
“At the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre we continually strive to initiate and deliver better outcomes for our community, clients and the environment. Hosting the world’s leading conservation biology conference aligns with ASM Global ACTS, a program which aims to invest in people, protect the environment and strengthen our communities,” she said.
“This high-profile international environmental congress will enhance the city’s credentials en route to hosting the world’s first carbon neutral and biodiversity neutral Olympic and Paralympic Games.”