National Tree Day 28 July

Image: Planet Ark

Image: Planet Ark

National Tree Day on Sunday 28 July and School Tree Day on Friday 26 July combine to make Australia’s largest tree planting event.

National Tree Day present Australians with an opportunity to give something back to the environment we live in by planting native trees, grasses and shrubs in the local community. National Tree Day promotes education about our natural environment and a commitment to care for it for future generations. Since National Tree Day began in 1996, more than 2.8 million people have planted over 17 million trees and shrubs.

Get involved!

Register your tree planting event on the National Tree Day Registration page. If you’re not hosting an event but want to get involved, find an event near you.

Got questions?

More information is available in the FAQ section of the National Tree Day website, or call the National Tree Day hotline on 1300 88 5000.

New paper: Evaluating options for sustainable energy mixes in South Korea using scenario analysis

A new paper involving Environment Institute members Corey Bradshaw and Barry W. Brook has recently been published in the journal Energy.

The paper, titled Evaluating options for sustainable energy mixes in South Korea using scenario analysis, examines the possibilities for sustainable energy generation in South Korea.


To mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, coal-fired electricity infrastructure needs to be replaced by low-carbon electricity generation options. Here we examine a range of possible alternative scenarios for sustainable electricity generation in South Korea, considering both physical and economic limits of current technologies. The results show that South Korea cannot achieve a 100% renewable energy mix and requires at least 55 GW of backup capacity. Given that constraint, we modelled seven scenarios: (i) the present condition, (ii) the First National Electricity Plan configuration, (iii) renewable energy (including 5 GW photovoltaic) with fuel cells or (iv) natural gas backup, (v) maximum renewable energy (including 75 GW photovoltaic) with natural gas, (vi) maximum nuclear power, and (vii) nuclear power with natural gas. We then quantify levelised cost of electricity, energy security, greenhouse gas emissions, fresh water consumption, heated water discharge, land transformation, air pollutant emissions, radioactive waste disposal, solid waste disposal and safety issues for each modelled mix. Our analysis shows that the maximum nuclear power scenario yields the fewest overall negative impacts, and the maximum renewable energy scenario with fuel cells would have the highest negative impacts.

Visit ScienceDirect to find out more.

Guest Speaker Paul Ehrlich podcast now available

The podcast for the presentation by Professor Paul Ehrlich is now available for download.

Prof. Paul R. Ehrlich

Prof. Paul R. Ehrlich

The Environment Institute and the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University presented Professor Paul Ehrlich, Bing Professor of Population Studies in the department of Biological Sciences at Stanford University on Thursday 21 March 2013 in Canberra.

The presentation Avoiding a collapse of civilisation – our chances, prospects and pathways forward discussed population growth and its effect on the environment.

Paul Ehrlich is the Bing Professor of Population Studies in the department of Biological Sciences at Stanford University, president of Stanford’s Centre for Conservation Biology and Adjunct Professor, University of Technology, Sydney. By training he is an entomologist specializing in Lepidoptera (butterflies), but he is also a prominent ecologist and demographer. Ehrlich is best known for his dire warnings about population growth and limited resources. He became well-known after publication of his controversial 1968 book The Population Bomb.

Listen to the presentation.


Environmental problems have contributed to numerous collapses of civilizations in the past. Now, for the first time, a global collapse appears possible and at the same time avoidable. Population growth supercharged by significantly increasing consumption interacting with our choices of technologies are major drivers. Dramatic cultural change provides the main hope of averting calamity.

Paul and Anne Ehrlich have written a paper on how humanity’s global civilisation is threatened with collapse by an array of environmental problems. In this special presentation, Professor Ehrlich gave a talk about his recent conclusions.

Professor Ehrlich was  joined by leading ecological scientists to participate in an in-depth panel discussion. The panel extended and discussed Professor Ehrlich’s topics as they relate to sustainability politics in Australia, broaching controversial topics from food and energy supply to the politics of greed. How much scientific evidence underlies our national decision-making?

The panel included Professor Corey Bradshaw from the Environment Institute, Professor David Lindenmayer from ANU, and Professor Graham Pyke from University of Technology Sydney. Professor Stephen Dovers, Director of the Fenner School of Environment, chaired the panel session.

‘China’s Economic Growth, Energy and Environmental Sustainability’ – Confucius Institute’s China Briefing

Environment Institute member Simon Divecha is taking part in the next ‘China Briefing’ event held by the University of Adelaide’s Confucius Institute on Wednesday 11th July.

The Confucius Institute’s China Briefings provide up to date knowledge of the most recent developments in China’s political, economic and cultural spheres that are of the most concern to the Australian public.

The next China Briefing ‘China’s Economic Growth, Energy and Environmental Sustainability’ will look at the environmental consequences of China’s rapid economic development, including the fact that China is currently the world’s largest producer of carbon emissions. Despite China making real efforts to address these issues, they still pose enormous challenges and the briefing will examine the problems, debates, solutions, and opportunities for Australia, of China’s economic/environmental dilemma.


  • Mr Simon Divecha, Business Manager of The Environment Institute, University of Adelaide
  • Dr Dale Wen, environmental researcher and activist
  • Mr John O’Brien, Managing Director and Founder, Australian CleanTech

Date: Wednesday, 11 July 2012
Time: 5:30 – 7:00 pm
Venue: Level 12 Ernst & Young Building, 121 King William Street, Adelaide

Please note: This is a free event, but online registration is essential.

More information about the China Briefing is available on the Confucius Institute website.

This China Briefing is kindly sponsored by Ernst & Young and the Hong Kong Australia Business Association SA

WOMAD Earth Station Festival Preliminary Line Up

Earth Station, WOMAD’s new festival, is an opportunity to receive and transmit ideas, issues and solutions towards a more sustainable planet. This innovative event melds the intellectual and cultural energies of leading scientific minds with a performance program featuring some of the world’s most accomplished and diverse musicians. The festival audience will be inspired by a refreshing and rare combination of discussion and music during a weekend of forums, displays and performances.

Guest speakers at the event include US geology professor Steve Pekar, former US vice president Al Gore’s chief-of-staff Roy Neel, Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton, presenter Robyn Williams, Australian comic Rod Quantock, and Peter Cosier, executive director of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists.

THE SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAM – is being developed in collaboration with the Environment Institute and the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists.

Read more

When: 21-23 October 2011
Where: Long Gully, Belair National Park

To book your tickets

David Suzuki

Listen to a podcast of David Suzuki presenting The Legacy: an elder’s vision for our sustainable future.

The Legacy is David Suzuki’s response to the question, If you had one last lecture to give, what would you say? In his much loved critical and candid presentation style, Dr. Suzuki  explores his own life journey in an era that has experienced major social revolutions, scientific discoveries, cultural shifts and political upheaval. His focus also acknowledges the wisdom of his grandparents and moves forward through to the promise held in the birth of his new grandson.

David Suzuki’s talk in Adelaide was proudly presented by Unibooks and the Friends of the University of Adelaide Library in association with Allen & Unwin and the University of Adelaide Environment Institute.

2010 Southern Adelaide Innovation Forum

The Southern Adelaide Economic Development Board is opening their annual Innovation Awards on April 29. Held in the Ridley Pavilion at the Wayville Showgrounds the forum inlcudes presentations by inspiration speakers, breakout workships and the 2010 Southern Adelaide Innovation Awards. There are three awards, Innovation in a Product, Innovation in an Environmental Product or Service and Innovation in Business Sustainability.

To book at place at the forum or to nominate for the Innovation Awards please visit the Southern Adelaide Innovation Forum website.

10 free passes to CleverGreen

10 free passes are available to PhD and Masters students at Adelaide Uni for the CleverGreen conference and showcase.

To apply students must contact the Environment Institute by email, with their contact details and the topic of their PhD or Masters. Applicants must register their interest by the 8th of February and will be advised of the outcome by the 12th.

The CleverGreen conference and showcase brings together researchers, government and business to examine and discuss green technologies, market opportunities and innovation for environmental sustainability.

What to expect.

  • Join South Australia’s leading Clean Technology innovators.
  • View the many South Australian products and services
  • that are helping the world to be cleaner and more environmentally sustainable.
  • Find out about the world-class research coming out of our Universities and research sector.
  • Hear internationally recognised speakers on investment and global trends in the Clean Tech sector.
  • Visit some of our best Clean Tech business operators and innovators through industry tours.
  • Enjoy world class food, wine and hospitality.

‘From Plains to Plate’ Conference, February 10-13 2010

‘From Plains to Plate’ Conference, February 10-13 2010

‘From Plains to Plate’ will bring together community, business and government to discuss the issue of strengthening South Australia’s food systems in the face of intensifying environmental, social and economic challenges.

Speakers from a range of fields will discuss how local producers and successful government policies and programs can complement community action to provide accessible, healthy food and the skills to cultivate resilient communities. The convergence will examine food and agriculture through a number of streams, including urban planning and growth, agriculture and the environment, public health and food access, education and sustainability, and economics and policy.

‘From Plains to Plate’ will bring together great minds and great ideas to produce a vision that will pave the way for making healthy and sustainable food systems a reality in South Australia.

For more information please visit