2008 Sessions & Symposia

The theme of the ‘Coast to Coast 2008′ conference is Coast to Coast Collaboration: Crossing Boundaries.

The program consists of Thematic Sessions, Symposia and Workshops, as below:

Thematic Sessions


  • coastal climate change & disaster management (cyclones, Tsunami’s)
  • coastal collaboration – crossing boundaries
  • coastal planning for population change
  • monitoring, mitigation and management of land and marine-based pollution
  • coastal mining and offshore oil-gas developments
  • coastal-marine biodiversity & conservation management
  • coastal ecosystems, people & the future within the Arafura Timor Seas
  • community engagement, capacity-building and training


Thematic Session Overviews

Coastal Ecosystems, People and the Future within the Arafura – Timor Seas

The Arafura and Timor Seas are shared between four countries: Australia, Indonesia, Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea. The Seas and coastal areas are extremely rich in terms of biodiversity, providing livelihoods for millions of people. The region contains substantial oil and gas reserves and supports a range of large-scale commercial to small-scale artisanal fisheries using traditional methods. Threats to the region include over-exploitation of resources, illegal foreign fishing as well as marine pollution, and degradation of coastal habitats. This session invites papers exploring the following issues

  • institutional capacity in coastal planning and management
  • human migration patterns
  • fishing activities (legal and illegal)
  • sustainable economic development and poverty alleviation
  • regional planning and management within the Arafura-Timor Seas region

Symposia Overviews

Crossing Boundaries in Tropical Rivers and Estuaries: Maintaining Connections [Run jointly by Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge (TRaCK) and Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility (MTSRF)] (Wednesday 20 August)

The rivers and coastal wetlands of northern Australia are internationally recognised for their outstanding natural and cultural values and they support important economic activities including tourism and commercial and recreational fishing. But these systems face growing environmental challenges, including the spread of exotic plants and animals, changes in land use and the likely consequences of climate change. There is growing interest in further developing the land and water resources of the region but at the same time there is a widespread view that future development should avoid the mistakes that have been made in southern Australia. Making good management decisions in this region will require a much better understanding of and the social, cultural, environmental and economic consequences of future development and climate scenarios. Developing this integrated understanding will involve crossing boundaries: cultural boundaries, disciplinary boundaries, ecosystems boundaries and jurisdictional boundaries. This symposium will explore this central theme of the conference in the context of tropical rivers, coastal wetlands and estuaries will provide an opportunity to showcase new research in this area from across the region.

Symposium organiser: Dr Danielle Warfe

Symposium: NRM Monitoring, Evaluation & Reporting (NLWRA) (Wednesday 20 August)

Finding performance indicators that show progress towards NRM Resource Condition Targets (RCTs) is proving to be a very challenging task. There are difficult issues around, for example, a serious lack of useful data; definition of NRM “assets”; scientific credibility; issues with aggregating and integrating indicators; visualisation of the results; reporting that needs to work at the regional, state and national levels; and the independence or legitimacy of the reports.

This symposium with explore these issues. It will then propose for discussion ways that we can move towards a more natural way of reporting on the ecological integrity of our estuarine, coastal and marine environments. For example, new assessment frameworks are under development that seek to better match the levels of information required by management to the available information sources and capacity at the state and regional levels. The OzCoasts NRM Reporting Module will also be explored.

Symposium Convenor: Richard Mount

Symposium: Ecosystem-based Management as a policy tool to achieve Integrated Oceans Management (Thursday 21 August: 11am-1pm)

Purpose:The purpose of the symposium is to discuss the application of Ecosystem-based Management (EBM) as a policy tool to achieve Integrated Oceans Management in Australia. The symposium focuses on the application of this principle in the context of oceans management policy. The workshop on the application of technological tools for EBM will follow the symposium.

Format: Dr Keith Sainsbury will chair the symposium and give a presentation on the topic, followed by invited guests who will discuss their experiences in implementing EBM in a policy context. A small discussion will be held at the end of each presentation with a summary conclusion at the end. It is envisaged that the output of the symposium will be a small paper highlighting main points discussed with key recommendations to the way forward.

Why this theme? EBM is a principle that features in many policies and strategies in Australia. The interpretation and implementation of EBM varies across jurisdictions and sectors. There is a need for a debate on how this principle is being applied to achieve integrated oceans management outcomes. Exploring issues such as application of EBM for fisheries management, marine biodiversity conservation, integration and coordination between sectors, etc will clarify our understanding of the application of EBM at policy level and try to answer questions like: Does Australia have successful examples that demonstrate integrated oceans management outcomes form the application of EBM? What are they?

Symposium Convenor: Patricia von Baumgarten, South Australian Department for Environment and Heritage.