It's all about the people: Stewart Lockie on National TalkBlack Radio

    On the 22nd of September Director of The Cairns Institute Professor Stewart Lockie spoke on National TalkBlack radio with Bumma Bippera Media’s legendary radio host Trevor Tim. Bumma Bippera Media (BBM) has been a local Cairns media outlet for sometime now sharing insightful and important news, radio programs and podcasts throughout the Cairns and Far North Queensland region. Within its various radio programs BBM has a regular slot between 11am and midday Monday to Friday for National TalkBlack radio, usually hosted by Trevor Tim (Trendy Trev) or Gudju Gudju (Seith) Fourmile.

    Our very own Director of The Cairns Institute Distinguished Professor Stewart Lockie was on National TalkBlack and spoke with legendary radio host Trendy Trev about all things research and some of the current projects at The Cairns Institute. Starting briefly by covering his early career and research interests in agriculture Stewart aptly pointed out that while a lot of his work had been in environmental management at the end of the day its really all about the people, ‘Here in Cairns we are surrounded by protected areas, world heritage areas, these are incredible natural assets and that’s true wherever you go in this country and true wherever you go in the world. Everywhere you go there are beautiful ecosystems, but its all about the people, the people who live there, who look after them and who value them’.

    After discussing the importance of people within environment and eco-system management Trevor then switched the discussion to current projects underway at The Cairns Institute, namely, two big projects happening at the moment in the Crown of Thorns Starfish (COTS) Control Innovation Program and the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program. Both funded by the Reef Trust Partnership. 

    The COTS Control Innovation Program is part of the expanding efforts to control crown-of-thorns starfish and reduce coral mortality from outbreaks to protect high ecological and economic value coral reefs.

    The Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (RRAP) brings together Australia’s leading experts to create an innovative suite of safe, acceptable interventions to help the Great Barrier Reef resist, adapt to, and recover from the impacts of climate change.

    From here Trevor switched the conversation from sea country to land in which Stewart explained that The Institute was ‘in process of setting up a regional network across tropical north Queensland of organisations looking at how to manage climate extremes, especially drought’. Namely the Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub which will be established at James Cook University in Cairns, bringing together Northern Queensland farmers, agribusinesses, communities innovation leaders and researchers to help fight the effect and impact of future droughts.

    Key discussion points also revolved around the involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations in the process of reef management.

    Trevor: ‘Which leads to my next question, First Nations People are they at the table in regard to the balance of the work on the Great Barrier Reef?’

    Stewart: ‘Look absolutely, they need to be, and it’s easy to throw around words like co-management, and sometimes probably a lot of Traditional Owners are still a bit sceptical about that. But I think we have a lot to learn in terms of how to involve Traditional Owners in a way that respects their rights, respects their knowledge, provides benefits back to the community and helps improve relationships with the wider community, so that everybody can see the value that Traditional Owners are bringing to reef management’

    • To find out more on any of The Cairns Institute research projects please visit the TCI website.
    • To listen to the whole interview please go to the National TalkBlack series on the Bumma Bippera Media website or follow the link - https://bbm987.com.au/podcast/national-talkblack-220921/
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