Goal 15: Life on Land

Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

The University of Wollongong is committed to working towards the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through its governance, teaching and learning, community engagement, partnerships and research. The following initiatives are by UOW staff and students working towards SDG 15: Life on Land.

Campus Environment

UOW’s main campus provides habitat for a diverse range of native animals with approximately 162 native fauna species. It forms a part of the east-west wildlife corridor connecting the escarpment with the sea. The Environmental Policy demonstrates UOW’s commitment to environmental protection and sustainable practices.

Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Solutions

The Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Solutions (CSES) is a nationally and internationally significant centre for innovative research into the way that threatening processes affect the structure, function and composition of ecosystems. CSES uses a cross-disciplinary focus to create a collaborative research environment targeted at ecosystem management. With a proven track record of translating research into policy development and ecosystem management, CSES provides innovative solutions to major societal challenges that fall under the National Strategic Research Priorities: Living in a Changing Environment and Managing Our Food & Water Resources.

Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage

The UOW-led Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage is uncovering our continent’s rich human history, and its ancient climate, landscape and biodiversity. UOW is leading researchers from around the world on a research quest to investigate the history of Australia’s unique biodiversity and Indigenous heritage, while inspiring Australian children to engage with science. The centre has brought together 20 institutions and museums worldwide to unlock the history of Australia, Papua New Guinea and eastern Indonesia from 130,000 years ago until the time of European arrival. The first of its kind in the world, the centre is encouraging young scientists through a unique outreach program at schools and museums and focuses on nurturing the careers of Indigenous and female researchers.

Urban Forests: encounters, valuations and governance

UOW is partnering with University of Melbourne researchers and the City of Melbourne in a case study on urban forests. Urban forests are fundamental to city liveability, resilience, and sustainability.

PlantCities website

Birds in backyards

Research led by Professor Kris French has resulted in the development of state and federal environmental management programs for both threatened species and invasive weeds. Prof French has established a long-term program with the Australian Museum and Birdlife Australia in Urban Ecology. This has been supported by external funding, and lead directly to the national Birds in Backyards citizen science project which was awarded the 2008 Eureka Prize for Environmental Sustainability Education. The project has an Australia-wide impact and creates links with international programs. The website is widely used and the program connects the public with conservation messages via the media and online.

Team Quoll

Dr Katarina Mikac works on conservation of endangered Quolls and has established Team Quoll, a group of citizen scientists, students and researchers from the UOW on a quest to find and conserve the Spotted-tailed Quoll in the South Coast Region of NSW. Citizen scientists keep the research team informed of quoll sightings and specimens in the Illawarra and South Coast via a community Facebook page. The assistance and collected data has been invaluable to understand the biology, genetics and ecology and assist in the conservation management of quolls in our region.

Invasive species in rural landscapes

Associate Professor Nicholas Gill from UOW’s Australian Centre for Cultural and Environmental Research, is working to prevent the spread of hawkweeds, and, hopefully, eradicate their existence altogether on mainland Australia. Invasive plant management is a major activity by many landholders and important in developing links to, and knowledge of, their land. The work has expanded into weed hygiene practices in national parks and also into a recent foray into invasive animal management, hunting, and self-provisioning.

Southern Corroboree Frog

Over the last five years a UOW group, in collaboration with Melbourne Zoo, Taronga Zoo and the Department of Primary Industries has developed IVF for frogs. Without human intervention, it is possible the critically endangered species will soon become extinct.

Read more about the project

Sun, sand, sea and sustainability (S4)

In partnership with Shoalhaven City Council, researchers at UOW are addressing the challenges of sustainable marine tourism. The aim of this research is to develop a methodology which classifies communities according to a range of characteristics which will constrain or enhance sustainability objectives, such as population size, visitation levels and infrastructure availability. The project is assessing the vulnerability of destinations to pressures which will impact the sustainability of these communities, and their associated tourism growth and is being trialled in the Shoalhaven City Council area. The project will assist council to tailor tourism planning, marketing and service provision to meet the needs of different ‘types’ of coastal communities. 

Antarctic Footprints

Antarctica is often thought of as pristine, untouched by human disturbance, however, this is no longer the case. Antarctic Footprints is an exhibition examining the human presence in Antarctica over the last century and engages the wider public to gain a new understanding of Antarctica, its industries, its ecosystems and human impact.

If you know of a UOW project or initiative that's working toward this SDG please let us know. For more information email sdgs-uow@uow.edu.au.

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