Monash Progress Report 2022 – Goal 2
Monash University Progress Report 2022 on the Sustainable Development Goals
End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
2022 Publications Performance View
Number of Monash Research Outputs: 77
Mean Field Weighted Citation Impact of Monash Outputs: 1.74
3 Year Rolling Mean FWCI of Monash Outputs: 2.73
Algorand Centre of Excellence on Sustainability Informatics for the Pacific View
The Algorand Centre of Excellence on Sustainability Informatics for the Pacific (ACE-SIP), led by the Blockchain Technology Centre in partnership with eight institutions across the Pacific, utilises blockchain technology to foster sustainable development and innovation. ACE-SIP’s work encompasses environmental sustainability, governmental sustainability, and social and community sustainability.
The Centre’s efforts focus on preserving natural resources and environmental quality, driving a more protected and optimised government model, and supporting the community socially, economically and culturally. In 2022, ACE-SIP organised a sustainability-themed hackathon and summer school to foster long-term sustainability through active community engagement.
Living Within Limits: Adapting the Planetary Boundaries to Understand Australia’ View
The Planetary Boundaries Framework defines the global environmental limits within which humans are capable of developing and thriving. Climateworks Centre’s Land Use Futures program has adapted the global Planetary Boundaries Framework to an Australian context in the report Living Within Limits: Adapting the Planetary Boundaries to Understand Australia’s Contribution to Planetary Health.
The framework tracks Australia’s position on climate change, freshwater use, land-system change, biosphere integrity and biochemical flows, and how each of these boundaries intersect with the land use sectors, including agriculture and forestry. This report pushes the boundaries of science in defining the complex parameters of planetary health, helping us understand the national problem with clear and robust data.
Streptomyces Bacteria as Potential Probiotics in Aquaculture View
Acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) is a bacterial disease affecting shrimp that has caused severe damage and economic losses to the global aquaculture industry. The disease is caused by a particularly virulent strain of bacteria, Vibrio parahaemolyticus.
Researchers from Monash University Malaysia’s School of Pharmacy discovered that a species of Streptomyces bacteria isolated from mangrove forests in Malaysia is capable of conferring protection against AHPND. Utilising this research, the team worked with industry to develop a probiotic for aquaculture called FarmMate-S1 to enhance shrimp farming output.
Centre for Geometric Biology View
The Centre for Geometric Biology in the Faculty of Science is developing and testing a new theory for how and why organisms grow. Geometric biology allows us to understand the dynamics of how living things convert energy flows into mass, and how the size and shape of organisms ultimately determine these flows. The Geometric Theory of Biology allows us to predict how things function, grow, and change; be they tumours, schools of fish, or whole forests. Researchers from the Centre are utilising this theory to focus on how the net flux of energy (the energy acquired through food, photosynthesis, or chemosynthesis minus the energy lost to metabolism) changes with a living thing’s size.
Unit Statistics and Highlights View
In 2022, 81 units directly related to SDG 2 were offered across Monash University, with a total enrolment of 4,877 individual students.
The units highlighted below are a small sample of the units at Monash relating to zero hunger and food security:
Fostering Healthy Diets in Remote Communities View
Monash University is a member of the Coalition for Healthy Remote Stores, an alliance of retail, health and academic organisations that works to improve the healthiness of food retail stores in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Following the release of the 2022 Food Policy Index, which assesses Australian governments on their policies for addressing unhealthy diets, the Coalition for Healthy Remote Stores issued a joint statement recommending a series of actions by Australian and Northern Territory governments to foster healthy food retail in remote communities, where work is needed to improve community health and manage preventable chronic disease.
Experimental Economics and Rodent Control View
Monash Business School researchers in partnership with National University of Laos have used a ‘framed’ economic game in Laos to promote cooperation between farmers, reducing damage to rice crops and improving food security.
The project was implemented in 36 villages in the districts of Viengkham and Pakxeng, northern Laos, where farmers had been losing around 20 per cent of rice yields to rodents. The research showed households that participated in the game were significantly more likely to participate in rodent control training and collective rodent control activities, translating into significant reductions in damage to rice plots.
The project was supported with funding by the Federal Government’s Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).
Natural Capital Investment Initiative View
‘Natural capital’ is gaining traction as a way of making the value of nature visible to decision-makers in business, government and modern financial systems. However, currently Australia doesn’t have a comprehensive and consistent set of metrics to support widespread adoption of natural capital measurement.
The Natural Capital Investment Initiative in Climateworks Centre is working to fill this gap, including through the proof-of-concept Natural Capital Measurement Catalogue and options for encouraging natural capital measurement at the property level. The Initiative next aims to build the business case for land users to measure and improve their natural capital, and to support organisations’ ability to report nature-related impacts and dependencies.
Campus Food Waste View
In 2022, Monash University diverted approximately 17.5 tonnes of food waste at its Australian campuses that would otherwise have gone to landfill. The University also signed a new waste collection contract that included organic waste as a collection stream. The contract will lead to a variety of improvements for waste disposal infrastructure, including new bins and signage in kitchens.
Further measures to advance the new food organic waste program included:
- Awareness raising via staff campus updates, including webinars
- Compostable product guides (in development with the waste contractor); and
- Improved data and reporting.
Healthy Food Choices View
Monash Wellbeing provides resources, services and programs to help members of our University community improve their eating habits and ensure a range of healthy food, drinks and catering are available on campus. The Monash Catering site supports retailers to provide healthy, and sustainable catering to staff. The Monash Healthy Food Procedure outlines the University’s ongoing efforts to create a healthy food environment.
In 2022 the University continued to promote a variety of activities to support the Try for 5 campaign, which encourages staff and students to increase their vegetable consumption to five servings per day.
Sustainable Food Choices View
Wholefoods is a student-run, not-for-profit, vegan and vegetarian restaurant, cafe and grocery located at Clayton campus. Established in 1977, the location has a long history of providing affordable and healthy food to students, facilitating workshops and social events, and bringing people together to create a community on campus.