A decadal plan that presents a unified vision for supporting geographic disciplines in Australia has been launched at the University of Sydney.
Geography: Shaping Australia’s future, produced by the National Committee for Geographical Sciences with the guidance of the Australian Academy of Science, is an analysis of the current status of geography nationally.
Launched late last week, the report proposes a ten-year plan for nurturing the discipline by promoting geographic understandings as well-positioned, evidence-based approaches to tackling contemporary challenges, such as climate change, environmental degradation and biodiversity loss, regional development and sustainable development.
Squarely aimed at policymakers, the bulk of the report focuses on ten core research areas based on priorities identified by federal governments in the last five years, aiming to highlight the value that integrated geographic approaches to ‘wicked problems’ can offer.
The report concludes with a review of the position of geography in schools and a pitch for the value of geographical societies, before highlighting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a global framework for tackling interrelated economic, social and environmental challenges.
Finally, in a rallying call to the geographic community, the authors highlight four future challenges for the discipline:
- To increase the contribution of the discipline to progress towards environmental sustainability
- To increase the contribution of the discipline for the improvement of human wellbeing
- To raise the level of geographical knowledge and understanding within the Australian population
- To improve the visibility and integrity of the discipline
Let’s hope policymakers are listening. Download the report at the Australian Academy for Science’s website.
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