Sustainable International Development Projects

    Our goal is to strengthen Australia’s engagement with our neighbours in the Asia-Pacific to meet international sustainable development goals.

    Sustainable projects

    Leverhulme Trust - Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation

    Sequestering carbon and improving sugarcane productivity by enhanced weathering of basalt

    Indicative funding: $479,169 over 5 years administered by University of Sheffield

    Arresting the build-up of atmospheric CO2 is one of humanity's biggest challenges. In geological time, the weathering of rocks consumes CO2, which is then sequestered as limestone in the ocean, but the natural rate of this process is very slow. In this project we will determine the feasibility of accelerating weathering by introducing crushed basalt (a common and easily weathered rock) into the place on earth with highest CO2 production and potential weathering rates - topsoil in the humid tropics. We will also examine the effects on soil condition and crop growth, which are likely to be beneficial.

    Chief Investigators: Paul Nelson, [Cairns Institute Fellow], Michael Bird and David J Beerling (College of Science & Engineering and University of Sheffield)

    PNG National Aids Council - Large Research Grant Program

    Seventh Day Adventist Responses to HIV in Papua New Guinea

    Indicative funding: $295,650 over 3 years

    The Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church is one of the most influential churches in Papua New Guinea with an extensive range of health, education and social services throughout the country. This research aims to document and analyse SDA policy and theology on HIV in PNG. It will then describe how these policies and theology are interpreted and influence responses to HIV by church leaders, church employees and church members.

    Chief Investigators: David MacLaren with the help of Matupit Darius, Tracie Mafile'o, Graeme Humble, Lalen Simeon, Rachael Tommbe, Michael Wood, Ton Otto and Michelle Redman-MacLaren

    Collaborating Schools/Institutions: School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine & Rehabilitation Sciences; Pacific Adventist University; School of Arts & Social Sciences; The Cairns Institute

    Australian Research Council - Discovery Project (DP140101682)

    Farmers of the future: The challenges of feminised agriculture in India

    Indicative Funding: $300,000 ($5,910 to JCU)

    Women farmers produce about 50% of all foodcrops, but are neither recognized as farmers, nor do they own productive assets. This project investigates the feminisation of agriculture in different social, cultural and agro-ecological contexts in India to ensure future food security, women's empowerment and to make rural livelihoods more sustainable.

    Chief Investigators: Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt (ANU), Amita Shah (Gujarat Institute of Development Research), William Pritchard (University of Sydney), Patrick J Kilby (ANU), Stewart Lockie

    Collaborating Schools/Institutions: Australian national University; Gujarat Institute of Development Research, University of Sydney, The Cairns Institute

    Paul M Angell Family Foundation - Grant

    Learning from coral reef 'bright spots'

    Indicative funding: $99,337

    This project aims to uncover novel solutions to the global problem of unsustainable coral reef fisheries by locating and learning from 'bright pots' in reef governance. In this case, bright spots are reefs in better condition than they should be, given the pressures they are exposed to (e.g., markets and human population). This proposal aims to build on my initial proof-of-concept by supporting fieldwork to uncover what makes bright spots bright, i.e., the social, economic, and institutional conditions that enable coral reef bright pots to withstand the pressures that caused other places to collapse.

    Chief Investigator: Joshua Cinner (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies; Cairns Institute Fellow)

    Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)

    Improving seaweed production and processing opportunities in Indonesia

    Indicative funding: $70,812 over 5 years

    Seaweed culture in Indonesia is one of the few available income-generating opportunities for coastal communities and supports an estimated 120,000 small holder seaweed farmers. There are, however, problems with seaweed quality, processing procedures and utilisation of waste streams from processing. There is also a strong desire to commercialise new species with the ability to value-add, and to develop new products, thus diversifying the markets into which seaweed can be sold.

    Chief Investigators: Nicholas Paul, Michael Rimmer, Natalie Stoeckl

    Collaborating Colleges: College of Science & Engineering; College of Business and Law & Governance

    Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation 

    How midwifery students at a university in PNG understand, experience and manage the provision of care to women following stillbirth

    Indicative funding: $3,000

    This study will describe and theorise the understanding of stillbirth and experiences of providing care to women following stillbirth with a cohort of midwifery students at a university in Papua New Guinea. The study will document social, cultural, spiritual and professional factors that inform the provision of care from the perspective of midwifery students who have been maternal healthcare providers prior to enrolment. The study will contribute to the body of knowledge on stillbirth experiences in resource limited and complex social and cultural settings, and enhance collaboration between JCU and Pacific Adventist University.

    Chief Investigators: Karen Cheer, Komla Tsey, David MacLaren and Jenny Kelly

    Collaborating Institutions: College of Arts, Society & Education; College of Medicine & Dentistry; The Cairns Institute


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