Charles Sturt University in Port Macquarie will host the 'Rivers on Fire and Flood Conference - The Journey to Resilience' on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 20-21.
The conference is a call for action to address the impacts of fires and floods on waterways and surrounding communities.
A range of experts will provide new perspectives on conserving Australia's unique biodiversity under increasingly challenging conditions.
The university is staging the event in partnership with conference organiser the International River Foundation, the Charles Sturt Institute for Land, Water and Society (ILWS), and Port Macquarie Hastings Council.
Charles Sturt director of external engagement in Port Macquarie Kate Wood-Foye said the conference is particularly relevant for in light of the devastating impact of the recent bushfires and flood crisis.
"The university has significant capability in this area, as indicated by our experts who will speak at the conference and will now extend their work to show participants not only the impacts of fires on rivers but also the wider impact of floods," Ms Wood-Foye said.
"The Rivers on Fire and Flood Conference aims to understand the impacts of these devastating natural events, raise awareness, and issue a call for action to address the effects of fires and floods on waterways and surrounding communities."
Charles Sturt presenters include Associate Professor Andrew Hall, director of the Charles Sturt Institute for Land, Water and Society, who will deliver a welcome address.
Dr Jessica Tout-Lyon (ILWS) and Dr Alexandra Knight (ILWS, and lecturer in Environmental Management in the Charles Sturt School of Environmental Sciences), will co-present a keynote address.
Dr Luiz De Silva, a former Charles Sturt ILWS researcher now working in Switzerland, will also present research completed during his time at CSU.
"There can be no more suitable location for the Rivers on Fire and Flood Conference than the Charles Sturt University campus in Port Macquarie," Professor Hall said.
"Over the past two years, the Port Macquarie region has experienced some of the worst effects of drought and flood in Australia.
"The devastating effect on rivers' ecologies of drought followed by the unprecedented 2020 bushfires is a distressing effect of global heating, which was particularly impactful for the Hastings and Macleay rivers.
"Port Macquarie-based aquatic ecologists from the University's Institute for Land, Water and Society will be presenting at the conference along with international experts to provide new perspectives on conserving Australia's unique biodiversity under increasingly challenging conditions."
Other speakers include Dr Eva Abal, CEO, International River Foundation; Stuart Blanch, senior manager Forest Policy, World Wildlife Fund-Australia; and Professor Stuart Khan, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of NSW.
"The vision of the International River Foundation is a future where healthy, resilient rivers support thriving communities, ecosystems and economies," Dr Abal said.
"The Rivers on Fire and Floods event is a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness, exchange knowledge, and highlight the need for our rivers, waterways and their communities to be on the journey to resilience."
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