Can we have Skippy and eat him too? Controversial answer: YES!
UNSW Dean of Science Professor Michael Archer was a popular Guest Speaker at the recent New College Commencement Formal Dinner for Session 2.
To see photos please visit: Session 2 Commencement Formal Dinner.
Professor Archer captured the attention of the 270 plus students, staff, board, alumni and invited guests at the dinner.
Prof Archer outlined a vision to incorporate alternative forms of land-use into the landscape mosaic of rural Australia that combine production and conservation through the commercial use of native species. Prof Archer presented interesting ideas about how to save our natural environment and remain economically sustainable. Michael emphasised the importance of placing value on our unique Australian native species.
The idea of sustainable use strategies and the sucess stories in some African countries of eleminating poaching and conserving wildlife and local flora were fascinating. Prof Archer encouraged those gathered to consider joining the debate about sustainably using our native species and environments. Prof Archer argued that by using natives the natural habitats that maintain their populations must be protected.
Resources sustainably harvested from natural ecosystems have greater economic value and therefore greater ecological resilience Archer argues.
To quote Michael Archer: "We're mad if we don't recognise that the future of Australia's environments, animals and plants, and rural and regional Australia, can only be enhanced by increased use of Australia's unique native resources...Can we have Skippy and eat him too? For me, the science and the tongue agree: it's increasingly true blue to chew Roo."
To find out more of Prof Archer's vision please visit the Future of Australia's Threatened Ecosytems (FATE) website: www.fate.unsw.edu.au.