Monash Progress Report 2020 – Goal 15
Monash University Progress Report 2020 on the Sustainable Development Goals
Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
Ecology and Conservation View
Ecology and Conservation is one of key research areas within the Monash School of Biological Sciences. Working across freshwater, marine and terrestrial environments, from the tropics to the Antarctic, and in state-of-the-art laboratory settings, researchers are working to understand ecological processes, and the consequences of environmental change for species and the ecosystems they occupy.
The work contributes to the fields of fundamental ecology and environmental science, while also promoting evidence-based conservation management and policy decisions to secure biodiversity and limit disruptions to human society.
Jock Marshall Reserve View
Jock Marshall Reserve is a three hectare ecological sanctuary that is a cornerstone for environmental education and research at Monash Clayton. The reserve was established to enhance the campus’s native environment against European landscaping ideals of the 1960’s. Since then, it has been progressively renewed to support a rich ecosystem of bird species, aquatic life and other fauna.
There are facilities within the reserve that are available to conduct research including the controlled temperature rooms, a dedicated outdoor aquatic mesocosm area and fully equipped greenhouses. The reserve is accessible to the community via the nature walk and through science experience programs, which provides exposure to the research activities that are being undertaken within.
Securing Antarctica’s Environmental Future View
Monash-led program Securing Antarctica’s Environmental Future (SAEF) was named the recipient of $36 million funding under the ARC Special Research Initiative for Excellence in Antarctic Science in April 2020. SAEF will deliver world-leading research to forecast environmental change across the Antarctic, deploy effective environmental stewardship strategies, and secure Antarctica as a natural reserve devoted to peace and science.
SAEF is a joint program with five other Australian universities, the WA Museum and SA Museum, with government agencies, including the Australian Antarctic Division, Geoscience Australia, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, and the Bureau of Meteorology. The program commences 2021.
2020 Publications Performance View
Mean Field Weighted Citation Impact of Monash Outputs: 1.47
Number of Monash Research Outputs: 96
Unit statistics and highlights View
In 2020, 94 units directly related to SDG15 were offered across Monash University, with a total enrolment of 7,004 students.
The units highlighted below are a small sample of the units at Monash relating to life on land:
Essential biodiversity variable approach to monitoring biological invasions View
Created with the support of Monash, the website Essential Biodiversity Variable Approach to Monitoring Biological Invasions: Guide for Countries presents the vision and an approach to achieving global observation and monitoring of biological invasions. It aims to inform the development of national, sub-national or site-based observation and monitoring systems for invasive alien species, harmonise existing observation and monitoring systems for invasive alien species, and promote national and global efforts to achieve and report on conservation targets for biological invasions.
Land Use Futures View
Working as part of the international Food and Land Use Coalition, the Climateworks Centre's Land Use Futures team helped identify the ten critical transitions that are necessary to accelerate global action towards sustainable food and land use systems by 2050. In 2020, the team looked at how each of these ten transitions could be adapted for Australia. It’s the first step in a process that is mapping a path to a more sustainable Australian food and land use system.
Hazardous waste View
Hazardous waste is waste that poses a threat or risk to public health, safety and/or the environment. This includes batteries and waste generated in laboratories and some research or teaching activities also referred to as prescribed industrial waste. Our disposal processes and policies ensure hazardous materials can be safely collected and where possible recovered, while protecting the environment and human health.
Campus ecosystem View
Monash University’s landscapes and Indigenous flora, with an estimated value of more than $100 million, are designated by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects as being nationally significant. They’re critically important to the University’s campus amenity and identity. Embedded in the campus masterplans is a commitment to sustain a rich biodiversity on each campus, acknowledging local contexts. The masterplans for each Victorian campus include clear deliverables and metrics for the infrastructure and landscape development to achieve University aspirations, including sustainability goals. In 2020, we have significantly upgraded our canopy cover by planting 5,400 native shrubs and 70 native trees across our Victorian campuses.
Monash Borrow Cup View
Monash BorrowCup provides an alternative to disposable coffee cups on University campuses, by enabling people to borrow a reusable cup that can be returned later. This student-led program was introduced to nine campus cafes in 2019, involved more than 50 student volunteers, and seven students employed for BorrowCup operations. On average, 1400 reusable coffee cups were used per week, with more than 67,000 disposable cups being diverted from landfill in a year.
Single-use elimination strategy View
Monash University has committed to eliminate single-use retail plastics across all its Australian campuses by 2023. Our Ditch Disposables campaign was launched in 2019, encouraging customers to bring their own cup or container, dine in, or borrow reusable containers as a way to reduce disposables.
Monash also trialled waste-free dining at new food retail outlets, providing reusable crockery and cutlery, accepting clean customer containers, and using only compostable takeaway packaging.