18 Sept 2019


On 18 September WWF-Australia held its second annual Symposium. The Symposium explored catalysing high-impact investment opportunities and the important work WWF is driving in response to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

Whether you were unable to make it to the Symposium or you want to relive them over again, here are the top 10 quotes from the event:

If you were unable to make it to the Symposium, here are the top 9 quotes from the event you missed:

1. “We need to start healing the community fractures and promote peace before we can start on conservation projects. Peace, community development and conservation are indivisible. Respectful, enduring relationships are key.”

- Professor Tim Flannery on his work in Kwaio and Bougainville, and how lessons can be drawn for Australia

2. "People and nature are inextricably linked. One of the many issues in climate communications is that climate change is portrayed as 'just an environmental problem.' But it is also a problem for the people and we cannot forget that."

- Professor Lesley Hughes, Distinguished Professor of Biology & Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Integrity & Development) at Macquarie University & WWF-Australia Board Director

3. "Let’s stop wasting time peddling to deniers, who demand that we need to change their minds. We are wasting time on whether the science is real. We need to spend that time working on the solutions. And young people are engaged and listening and doing it, so get out of our way!"

- Tom Hume, Energy Transition Specialist and Youth Ambassador for Renewable Cities

Crystal globe resting on moss in a forest - environment concept
© Shutterstock / Romolo Tavani

4. "Climate change will have an impact on the Yorke Peninsula and the species that live there. Change is inevitable, whether we like it or not. Some species will be lost, others will enter. And other species will adapt. We need to safeguard the continuity of ecological processes, to maximise the system's resilience and ensure that a functioning system emerges from this time of change. The rewilding project will reinstate many missing ecological processes and move the system towards being self-sustaining."

- Andy Sharp on rewilding the Yorke Peninsula, Project Director - Great Southern Ark Rewilding Project, Natural Resources Northern & Yorke

5. "Land and sea systems are highly interconnected. What happens on land - what you put down your sinks, wash from your driveways, and spray on your farms, it all ends up in the ocean. With one new chemical being produced every six seconds globally. Pollution is a real issue for our coasts and oceans."  

- Chris Hof, Marine Species Project Manager, WWF-Australia 

6. "Protecting tigers is a multi-national, transboundary issue, because tigers are solitary animals with huge roaming distances, stretching from Southeast Asia to India and Russia. And they certainly don’t carry passports. It touches upon complex land use and land rights issues that differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Tiger conservation needs to be firmly entrenched and linked to the success of the local communities and their continued sustainable development."

- Dr Ashley Brooks, Habitats & Human Wildlife Conflict Lead, WWF Tigers Alive

Aerial view of Hardy Reef, home to the Heart Reef, in the Great Barrier Reef

These images were taken on 20 June 2017 by a drone to assess if the Heart Reef has been bleached.
Aerial view of Hardy Reef, Great Barrier Reef © Christian Miller / WWF Aus

7. "Steven Pinker’s analysis shows that as a species, humans have never had it so good. According to the Human Development Index there are more of us than ever before and most people live longer and healthier lives than our ancestors with a relatively decent standard of living. Here in Australia, income per capita is among the highest in the world. We even have our own geographical epoch called the Anthropocene! But nothing comes without a cost and for every year our GDP rises so does the cost to our natural ecosystem. People are asking how we can save the planet. Frankly, I have total faith that the planet will be absolutely fine and Nature will win in the end. However, putting the breaks on humanity might be a big part of the restorative work that needs to be done. I don’t think it is the planet which needs saving, I think it is us!"

- Anni Rowland-Campbell, Director, Intersticia

8. "Innovation is not just about widgets and new technology. It’s about an empowering mindset to address the big social issues...Only five to six years ago, it was hard to talk to companies about sustainability. Today, we are having so many sustainability conversations through the lens of new business models."

- Dr David Ireland, Global Innovation Lead, ThinkPlace & WWF-Australia Governor 

9. "Today’s Symposium has got me thinking about how we can change the world for the better. We discussed three types of change: changing people’s minds, their behaviour, and systems. And it occurs to me that we are not focusing enough on fixing systems and changing business models. And by making changes at the system level, we then make it easy for people to change their behaviour."

- Professor Lesley Hughes, Distinguished Professor of Biology & Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Integrity & Development) at Macquarie University & WWF-Australia Board Director

Solar panel texture close up
© Shutterstock / OliverSved / WWF