A research program that aims to secure Antarctica’s environmental future has been given $36 million in federal funding.
The program led by Monash University, and including some of Australia’s other leading universities and scientific bodies, aims to “forecast environmental change across the Antarctic” as well as secure the region as a natural reserve “devoted to peace and science”.
Funding for the Securing Antarctica’s Environmental Future program will be announced on Tuesday by Education Minister Dan Tehan MP.
“SAEF’s collaboration extends to 30 organisations in Australia and abroad, including links with the Antarctic national programs of Chile, Norway, South Africa and the UK, and with the Department of Conservation in New Zealand,” Monash University said in a statement.
The program will be led by Professor Steven Chown, from the university’s School of Biological Sciences.
“This is a critical investment in the future of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean,” Professor Chown said.
“SAEF will ensure Australia’s global leadership in the Antarctic, delivering unprecedented current and future research capability for securing the Antarctic.”
SAEF is a joint program with the Queensland University of Technology, University of Wollongong, University of New South Wales, James Cook University, University of Adelaide, the Western Australian Museum, and the South Australian Museum.
Peak industry bodies, including the Australian Antarctic Division, Geoscience Australia, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation and the Bureau of Meteorology are also involved.
Antarctica is the Earth’s southernmost continent.