Webinar: Australia’s Summer Bushfires: From Root Causes to Opportunities for Support

Tuesday, February 4, 2020 - 4:30pm EST
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Organized by the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network and the Environmental Grantmakers Association
Co-sponsored by Environment Funders Canada, Biodiversity Funders Group, and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy

Australia’s summer of bushfires is an ecological, social and economic catastrophe. These unprecedented fires in both their scale and intensity are clearly related to climate change, and its consequences which include prolonged drought, hotter temperatures and a much longer fire season. So far in Australia:

  • 10.7 million hectares have been burnt
  • Over one billion vertebrates and at least 240 billion invertebrates have been killed
  • Whole ecological communities will disappear and many species are closer to extinction
  • The economic costs are in the billions
  • And there is untold damage to health and social wellbeing

Australia is currently witnessing a climate tipping point, while the world watches Australia suffer both the consequences of not acting on climate change and denying that climate change is a real threat. Join Australian funders and experts to explore what has happened, where, and the underlying causes of the bushfires; the public discourse about the fires and the response by the State and Federal Governments; and AEGN and Australian donors’ perspectives on what can be funded.


Information on how to join the webinar from outside of the United States is available HERE >>


Anisa Kamadoli Costa, Chief Sustainability Officer, Tiffany & Co. and Chairman and President, Tiffany & Co. Foundation


Professor Lesley Hughes
Professor Lesley Hughes is a Distinguished Professor of Biology and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Integrity & Development) at Macquarie University. Her research has mainly focused on the impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems. She is a former federal Climate Commissioner and former Lead Author in the IPCC’s 4th and 5th Assessment Report. She is also a Director for WWF Australia, a member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, the Director of the Biodiversity Node for the NSW Adaptation Hub and a member of the expert advisory committee for Future Earth Australia.

Professor John Thwaites
John Thwaites is a Professorial Fellow, Monash University, and Chair of the Monash Sustainable Development Institute and ClimateWorks Australia. John is also Chair of Melbourne Water and the Peter Cullen Water and Environment Trust. John is the Chair of the National Sustainable Development Council, which has developed the Transforming Australia: SDG Progress Report 2018. He is a Co-Chair of the Leadership Council of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (“SDSN”) launched by the Secretary General of the United Nations to provide expert advice and support to the development and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. John Thwaites was Deputy Premier of Victoria from 1999 until his retirement in 2007. During this period he held various Ministerial portfolios including Health, Planning, Environment, Water and was Victoria’s first Minister for Climate Change.

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