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China bans online learning with foreign universities. China's government made the surprise ruling, banning all university students from studying online with overseas universities, just weeks before classes start. Students will need to go overseas to complete their degrees.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY The theme for International Women’s Day 2023 is ‘Cracking the Code: Innovation for a gender equal future’. This theme is based on the United Nations 67th Commission on the Status of Women priority theme ‘Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls’.


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The Lucerne Academy for Human Rights Implementation is a worldwide unique, multifaceted human rights law programme based in the heart of Europe at the University of Lucerne, Switzerland. The main topics of the 2023 Summer School is “Business and Human Rights”. Participants are given the chance to learn the theoretical and trial skills necessary to prepare for a career in defending human rights. The Lucerne Academy for Human Rights Implementation ensures a high quality of staff interaction as well as participants.


Courses: The participants attend different classes focused exclusively on human rights law of the European Convention on Human Rights and the UN Covenants on Human Rights, in which they gain necessary theoretical knowledge. The classes are taught by distinguished professors and practitioners from around the globe.

Lunch Seminars: During Lunch Seminars the participants have the chance to learn from distinguished practitioners how to work with and implement human rights. The students will receive first-hand knowledge of current human rights issues and discuss possible solutions.

Excursions: In Geneva, the participants will visit the European Headquarters of the United Nations, as well as various NGOs. In Strasbourg the participants will visit the seat of the European Court of Human Rights and the Council of Europe. During the excursions, the participants interact with important NGO’s and officials and acquire insight into the practice of human rights implementation. Participants can earn seven (7) ECTS credits for the successful completion of the courses and lunch seminars. All successful participants will be awarded Certificates of Completion.



AGW is pleased to announce that in 2023 it will award the following Fellowships:

Two (2) 2022 Barbara Hale Fellowships: Value $8,000 each

The Fellowship is open only to women who are Australian citizens or permanent residents of Australia and are enrolled in a PhD degree by research at any Australian university or equivalent Institution.


One (1) 2023 Georgina Sweet Fellowship in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine: Value $7,000

Two (2) Jennifer Strauss Fellowships

The Fellowship is open to candidates enrolled in the Humanities.


The Fellowships are open to students who, being Australian citizens or permanent residents, are enrolled in a research doctorate in a STEMM discipline at any Australian university. The Barbara Hale Fellowships are offered annually and are open to candidates in any discipline; The Georgina Sweet Fellowship is open to candidates enrolled in Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine (STEMM); the Jennifer Strauss Fellowships are open to candidates enrolled in the Humanities. These two Fellowships are offered in alternate years. They do not require a separate entry form.


Applications open now. Closing date 28 February 2023.

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Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has become an international symbol of resistance as he leads his country’s response to Russia’s brutal invasion. From his defiant leadership on the streets of Kyiv in the early weeks of the attack to his eloquent advocacy on the global stage, President Zelenskyy has become an internationally admired figure at the heart of some of the most remarkable events in world affairs in recent decades.


In this special address, President Zelenskyy will speak from Ukraine via live video link. After his remarks he will speak in conversation with Executive Director Michael Fullilove and take some audience questions. 

Volodymyr Zelenskyy was elected President of Ukraine in 2019. He graduated from the Kyiv National Economic University in 2000 with a degree in law before co-founding and leading the television production company Kvartal 95, responsible for the comedy series Servant of the People, in which he played a teacher who was unexpectedly elected president. President Zelenskyy's heroic leadership in leading Ukraine’s defence against Russia's invasion has been recognised around the world, including in the form of the Ronald Reagan Freedom Award and the 2022 Profile in Courage Award from the John F. Kennedy Library.

This event will be broadcast live via YouTube. Click here to watch the event stream.




Sydney to host world’s biggest space event in 2025


By Michael Koziol

Sydney Morning Herald

September 23, 2022 — 12.17pm


Sydney has defeated four other cities to host the world’s biggest space congress in 2025, in what bid organisers described as a surprise win over well-financed rivals.


The International Astronautical Congress typically attracts more than 6000 participants from the global space community, including governments, industry, science and academia.


Organisers said Jeff Bezos’ aerospace company Blue Origin threw its support behind Sydney’s bid, helping secure the win over main rival Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia, as well as Beijing, Bangkok and Istanbul.


There was an intense two-hour debate on the floor of this year’s conference, held in Paris, to decide the 2025 host, during which Saudi Arabia’s long history of human rights violations was called out.

Head of the Australian Space Agency Enrico Palermo said hosting the congress was “a unique chance to show how far Australia has advanced as a space-faring nation” and would create key opportunities for local industry.


“It will help us inspire a new generation of Aussies about the possibilities of space, highlighting its criticality in addressing some of our greatest challenges,” he said.


Chief executive of the Space Industry Association of Australia James Brown said the global space community had decided resoundingly that “Australia is the future of space”.


“We look forward to hosting the world’s most exciting industry in Australia’s most exciting city,” he said from Paris. “Space is critical to everyday life, economy and security, and Australians are at the forefront of the global space industry.”


Several former political players were involved in winning the bid. Brown was married to Malcolm Turnbull’s daughter Daisy and has himself been a contender for various Liberal seats, including a NSW Senate vacancy in 2019.


The association’s director of operations Philip Citowicki was an adviser to then foreign minister Julie Bishop and then UK high commissioner George Brandis.


“Unreal scenes when Saudi bid was knocked back on human rights grounds and a groundswell of support for Australia saw us overthrow it all and win,” Citowicki wrote on Facebook. “Some of the biggest space organisations and agencies supported us, and it was nothing short of awesome.”

The bid also involved the NSW government, which has a space development strategy that aims to maximise the state’s benefit from the Australian Space Agency’s planned expansion before 2030.

The strategy involves fostering a hub for space, advanced manufacturing, aviation and defence industries within the forthcoming aerotropolis surrounding Western Sydney Airport, including a space manufacturing and testing facility that is the subject of a memorandum of understanding with the Australian Space Agency.


A 2020 NSW government document says organisations headquartered in the state generate 50 to 75 per cent of all space-related revenue in Australia, which is about $3 billion to $4 billion in total, while 41 per cent of all Australian space businesses are based in NSW.

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David Joshua Delos Reyes, IGPSG Director for Social Cohesion and Inclusion, was part of the Youth Parliament at NSW Parliament House. He volunteered as an advisor for several youth ministers and participated actively during the debates. The role enabled him to learn how the parliament debates work here and to prepare as well for the Model Global Parliament that IGPSG is planning in September. The Youth Parliament was attended by the Deputy Premier of NSW(Photographs courtesy of YMCA NSW)

The theme for 2022 Reconciliation Week is #BeBraveMakeChange which enabled you to reflect on the many First Nations women who have strongly, bravely and powerfully stood up for change.


We wished you all a happy Mabo day, on the 30th anniversary of the high court’s Mabo decision.


The Wiyi Yani U Thangani project, builds on the legacy of the 1986 Women’s Business Report. In 2023, the Australian Human Rights Commission will host the first ever First Nations Women & Girls National Summit. This Summit will bring together communities, government, stakeholders, and leading minds to form the basis of the First Nations Gender Justice National Framework for Action. This work is only possible because of the individuals, communities and allies who have stood up to support change.

Thank you for being part of this journey.


Wiyi Yani U Thangani team


Yajilarra nhingi, mindija warrma (from dreams, let's make it reality) tells the story of First Nations women and girls—their strengths and their depth of knowledge, and their solutions to create a more inclusive and fairer nation.

This animation was produced by Carbon Creative, narrated by Shelley Morris and June Oscar, and with opening voice-overs of First Nations women and girls.

We invite you to share this animation. It can be used as a resource in workplaces, schools, and other settings to generate discussion and how you can take action. 

Following the screening, you may want to facilitate a discussion on some of the key themes of the animation and discuss how you can take action. Here are some conversation starters:

  • What do you think we could do individually or as an organisation to ensure the voices of First Nations women and girls are heard, listened to and responded to?

  • How could you/your organisation partner with First Nations women and girls?

  • Do you have representation of First Nations women in your workplace? Not only are they represented, but are they listened and responded to?

  • Does your workplace have dedicated career and employment pathways for First Nations women—which have been co-designed with First Nations women?

  • Have you thought and considered how to embed a First Nations gender sensitive approach in your workplace? Look at the Wiyi Yani U Thangani Principles for guidance.

  • How can you show support for Wiyi Yani U Thangani and what are the strategies you can put in place to spread the work of the Report and this animation?


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The global community must stand united in ensuring that we protect and support Ukrainians to defend their country, and strongly reject the violations of international law by the Russian government under the behest of Vladimir Putin.
The world is one family sharing a common humanity and we must uphold the basic human right to live, to be free and to be safe.


On Monday night, a new report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will be released (1).

It contains more than seven years of updated, peer-reviewed science on climate impacts, and the limits of what we can adapt to. So, to understand what’s new, what’s changed, and what we can do about it, register now for your free ticket to our Special Briefing: What you need to know about the latest IPCC report.

Authored by the world’s leading climate scientists, the latest IPCC report will focus on the damage that climate change is already causing, how this is expected to worsen in the future and the urgency with which we need to act. 

When the latest science is released, you might feel sad, angry, frustrated, or stressed, but remember - you’re not alone. Research shows more than 75% of Australians are worried about climate change (3), and as a doctor working in climate and health, I know how easy it is to feel overwhelmed by the size and scale of the climate crisis. 

To overcome these feelings, look after our mental health, and keep working effectively towards solutions, we need:

  1. Access to clear, understandable and accurate climate science information on impacts and the solutions. 

  2. Space to connect with others to share our concerns and discuss our responses.

  3. Clear and meaningful opportunities to drive change.

Our Special Briefing on the latest IPCC report, will equip you with all three. 

Joining me on the panel next Thursday, 3 March at 6:00PM (AEDT) will be Coordinating Lead Author of the Australasian chapter in the upcoming IPCC report, Professor Brendan Mackey, Torres Strait organiser from 350 Australia and member of the #TorresStrait8, Yessie Mosby, and Climate Council CEO, Amanda McKenzie.

Together, we’ll address your questions on what this report means for Australia’s most vulnerable communities, and talk about what we can do to propel Australia towards bold, effective action on climate change. 

Register now for our Special Briefing: What you need to know about the latest IPCC report webinar on Thursday, 3 March at 6:00 PM AEDT.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Dr Kate Charlesworth
Climate Council

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“From a Summit for Democracy to a League of Democracies”

A Webinar sponsored by the Coalition for a World Security Community, a global organization advocating for a community of the world’s democracies to promote peace and security and tackle other global challenges.


The webinar explored the idea of building on President Biden’s Summit for Democracy to create a permanent forum among the world’s democracies to tackle global challenges.

The panel consisted of advocates of several versions of this idea: a D10, a concert of democracies, alliance of democracies or community of democracies. They discussed the following questions: What would be the purposes of such a community of democracies? What would be its value-added compared to existing intergovernmental organizations? Which countries would qualify as democracies? Wouldn’t such a community worsen the tensions between democracies and China and Russia?


Australia is running dead last among rich nations in the most important race humanity has ever faced

Dr Tim Flannery, Chief Councillor of the Climate Council, Sydney Morning Herald, October 21, 2021 — 5.00am

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Ten days out from COP26, the Climate Council has released a report that reveals Australia is in fact the worst climate performer of all developed countries when looking at both our track record and our commitments. Dead last, in the most important race humanity has ever faced.

Make no mistake, Australia is a carbon giant. Accounting for emissions produced here and those resulting from Australian fossil fuel exports, we are the fifth biggest source of climate pollution worldwide, behind only the US, EU, China and Russia, despite having only a fraction of the population. We are a huge contributor to this global crisis.

Too many of our leaders have been quick to downplay Australia’s potential to help tackle the global climate crisis. But after 20 years of following international climate negotiations, and as a veteran of five UN climate conferences, I’ve learned we should never underestimate Australia’s power to influence the course of global climate action – either for better or worse.

As we head to Glasgow, Australia is again acting like a handbrake. We are now the only one among our peers yet to substantially strengthen its 2030 emissions reductions target. We have no meaningful national plan to drive down our emissions and unlock our renewable energy potential, and we are continuing to approve and even fund new fossil fuel developments. Once again, we are the holdout, in the company of just a handful of recalcitrant nations including Saudi Arabia and Russia. Once again, the right choices from Australia will have an outsized positive influence, emboldening others to lift their game even further.


For our climate pollution to plummet this decade and to do our fair share, the science demands that Australia reduce its emissions by 75 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2035. As a first step, Australia must at least match the updated commitments from our allies, and pledge before Glasgow to at least halve our emissions below 2005 levels by 2030. Any less leaves us trailing the world, forgoing the economic opportunities of the global energy transition, and risking a future of increasing dangers and hardships for communities everywhere.

A National Integrity Commission is needed to investigate allegations and expose corruption in the federal government and public sector. There is currently no institution with the remit and powers necessary to investigate allegations of misconduct involving federal parliamentarians or the public service. The Commission must have a broad jurisdiction and the strong investigative powers of a Royal Commission, including the ability to hold public hearings.

Geoffrey Watson SC, the director of the Centre for Public Integrity, said: “We want an independent body federally who can do the same thing - stand up to the politicians,” he told SBS News.

“Every second week we are hearing about another scandal coming out of Canberra - the misallocation of funds, the misuse of taxpayers money."

“It is just appalling. We need to have an independent body that can scrutinise politicians’ actions.” Read more:



The federal government’s proposed changes to the Sanction Laws, elicited a response from human rights advocate and barrister, Geoffrey Robertson. His concerns about the implications for human rights can be viewed on:


The Australian Human Rights Commission regarding the development of a National Anti-Racism Framework which will serve as a long-term, central reference point to guide actions on anti-racism and equality by government, NGOs, business, communities, and other sectors. Read more

The United Nations has designated the period between 2022 and 2032 as the International Decade of Indigenous Languages.  UNESCO indicates that “approximately 40% of the 7,000 indigenous languages used worldwide are particularly vulnerable because many of them are not taught at school or used in the public sphere”. According to Nada Al-Nashif, Deputy High Commissioner of Human Rights: “In proclaiming this Decade, the international community is recognizing that indigenous peoples represent a distinct group whose human right to language should be promoted and protected. This proclamation is also a call for action – the preservation of indigenous languages not only requires greater awareness but also concrete commitments.”
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Towards a human rights approach for people born with variations in sex characteristics

This week the Australian Human Rights Commission released our landmark report which has made significant recommendations to protect the human rights of people born with variations in sex characteristics, and ensure these values are embedded into legislation and medical guidelines.


These reforms will protect the inherent human rights of intersex people and ensure they can live their lives with the dignity they deserve.
Read the report,
Ensuring health and bodily integrity: towards a human rights approach for people born with variations in sex characteristics here.


Protecting human rights in business

The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) is the global standard on preventing and addressing business-related human rights harms, but there is still a significant gap in translating human rights policies into practice. You can read the full report, At the Crossroads: 10 years of implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in Australia, here.


Incorporating UNDRIP into Australian law

13 September was the 14th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). To commemorate the anniversary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar wrote a powerful piece for the Canberra Times. You can read it here.


Ensuring transparency and accountability in government

President Rosalind Croucher spoke to Fran Kelly on ABC’s Radio National on the Commission’s submission to the proposed Freedom of Information exemptions for National Cabinet. Listen to the interview, and read the Commission’s submission here.

Equity in the vaccine rollout

Disability Discrimination Commissioner Dr Ben Gauntlett has called for all levels of government to be mindful of who is vaccinated, not just the number of people who are vaccinated, as the country begins to hit its vaccinations targets. As he points out, equity and human rights considerations are critical. You can listen to his full interview here.


Watch, Read, Listen...

Here is what we are watching and reading this month:


The School That Tried to End Racism is a ground-breaking look at race and racism. It takes us inside a class of primary school students and explores the impact racism has on them and others, unpacking themes of white privilege, racial bias and representation. Watch it on ABC iView.


Larissa Behrendt’s After Story follows an Indigenous lawyer, Jasmine, who decides to take her mother Della on a tour of England’s most revered literary sites, in the hope it will bring them closer together and help them reconcile the past. You can read a review here.

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How to spot the signs of elder abuse

The Commission has launched a new campaign to raise awareness among people who interact with older Australians about the warning signs of elder abuse and where to get support.


If you are concerned about someone you know, you don’t have to have all the answers. Call the free and confidential National Elder Abuse phone line on 1800 ELDERHelp (or 1800 353 374) for information, support and referrals. You can watch and share our video campaign here.

UN’s Guterres Proposes a 2023 Summit of the Future in ‘Our Common Agenda’ Report
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By Joris Larik Co-Author, Richard Ponzio Co-Author

Contributed by Leiden University, Stimson Center

Posted 14 September 2021

This op-ed was originally published in PassBlue 


A year ago, as Covid-19 took its toll on countless lives and livelihoods and presented yet another reminder of how global crises inevitably require global cooperation and solutions, world leaders convened virtually to endorse a declaration marking the United Nations’ 75th anniversary. To achieve progress on the declaration’s 12 commitments, member states requested Secretary-General António Guterres “to report back” before the end of the 75th session of the General Assembly “with recommendations to advance our common agenda and to respond to current and future challenges.”


At the heart of the report is the idea of trust and solidarity as the fiber holding together society from the local to the global level — a fiber that is fast unraveling. Hence, the report proposes nothing less than a new social contract between governments and governed. According to “Our Common Agenda,” such a contract is not an abstract term but includes, among other things, “the active and equal participation of women,” universal social protection, health coverage and universal Internet access as a “basic human right.”

To complement the social contract, the report calls for a new global deal to enhance the governance of the global commons and global public goods. While this is vital, as we argue in the “Beyond UN75” report, a new global deal should put to use a new social contract, including through global, regional, national and community-level plans for broad-based, green recovery from the pandemic and related policies, programs and funding.

Institutionally, the report must be praised for its various suggestions to create a United Nations 2.0 (for which we have further ideas in our report “UN 2.0: Ten Innovations for Global Governance 75 Years beyond San Francisco”). For instance, “Our Common Agenda” links the overdue repurposing of the Trusteeship Council, which has been inactive since 1994, to the bold proposal of turning it into a “multi-stakeholder body to tackle emerging challenges and, especially, to serve as a deliberative forum to act on behalf of succeeding generations.”

In reforming the global economy, the proposal for a biennial summit among the members of the G20, ECOSOC (the UN’s Economic and Social Council), the secretary-general and the heads of the international financial institutions is equally welcome. However, even here one could go a step further and, as we proposed recently, assemble a G20+ “at the Heads of State level every two years at UN Headquarters, timed to coincide with the gathering of all world leaders at the start of the UN General Assembly.”

A 2023 Summit of the Future

Together, the above and other far-reaching ideas — and the analysis underpinning them — create the basis for what may be viewed as the secretary-general’s most consequential proposal: a Summit of the Future, timed to coincide with the General Assembly’s high-level week in September 2023. Preceded by preparatory events and consultations, the summit would work to “advance ideas for governance arrangements in the areas of international concern mentioned in this report, and potentially others..." 


As argued in “Beyond UN75,” the genius of such a holistic, intergovernmental process for global governance innovation is that it could generate meaningful results through deal-making across a broad agenda that brings together diverse national interests and values, thus making the summit acceptable to powerful countries, including possible spoilers. This approach can also break through longstanding impasses, perhaps even Security Council reform.

To challenge his own ideas and offer member states in their pre-summit deliberations fresh thinking on the institutional and legal arrangements that are needed to better provide global public goods, Guterres will also convene a high-level advisory board, led by former heads of state or government. Ideally, this group could engage with select government and civil society representatives, as well as leading scholars, in a series of Track 1.5, off-the-record global policy dialogues timed to precede preparatory meetings. In addition to challenging conventional assumptions and helping to reframe narratives to overcome potential spoilers, each dialogue could emphasize — based on the findings of independently commissioned policy briefs — the need for creative and actionable proposals that would hold world leaders and international institutions accountable.

A more inclusive, networked and effective system of global governance for better coping with the challenges of current and future generations while seizing new opportunities is within our reach, but time is running short. Going forward, the international community must draw strength from the representative legitimacy — but also ideas and capabilities — of diverse state and nonstate actors. Meaningful change is possible, though making headway on this global road ahead will require imagination, persistence and, most of all, courage.

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Dr. Alexandra Ordonez Alvarez from University of Queensland collects georeferenced data in Far Northern Great Barrier Reef on Ashmore Bank. Chris Roelfsema


First-Ever High Resolution Map of World’s Coral Reefs Is Complete


Olivia Rosane

Sep. 10, 2021 01:46PM EST





Geomorphic maps communicate the seascape or structure of theocean floor. There are a total of 12 geomorphic classes identified on the Allen Coral Atlas. Allen Coral Atlas

A unique partnership has produced the first-ever high-resolution satellite map of the world's shallow coral reefs.

The Allen Coral Atlas announced its completion Wednesday as a tool that policy makers, conservationists and the general public can use to understand and preserve the world's reefs at a time when they are under increasing threat from the climate crisis and coastal development.

"We're trying to create a kind of moral mirror that we hold up to humanity," Andrew Zolli, vice president of sustainability and global impact at Planet, the company that provides the satellite images for the project, said in a press conference.

A Digital Public Good

The atlas is the product of three years of work, more than 450 research teams and nearly two million satellite images. It was named for the late Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen, who was an early instigator of the project.

However, the atlas was a team effort. The high-resolution satellite imagery is provided and regularly updated by Planet. Arizona State University then cleans the images and the University of Queensland uses machine learning and regional data to generate different map layers. The National Geographic Society trains conservationists in how to best use the map, while Allen's company Vulcan funded the website that makes it accessible.

"One of the things that the Atlas represents is a kind of digital public good," Zolli said.


An Allen Coral Atlas partner looks at a map during development of the Atlas. Allen Coral Atlas

It is also a major milestone. Previously, only 25 percent of the world's reefs had been mapped using high-resolution images, and there was no consistent mapping process linking the different regions.

"It's quite an undertaking that hadn't been achieved at this resolution and with this kind of detail," director of Arizona State University's Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science Greg Asner said during the press conference.

The only limit on the project is depth. Current satellite technology, Asner said, can only "punch through the seawater" to about 15 meters (approximately 49 feet). Which is why the atlas offers data products that extend from either zero to ten meters (approximately 33 feet) or zero to 15 meters.


Conservation Tool

The map also comes at a pivotal moment for the world's coral reefs and the ecosystems and human communities that depend on them.

"Coral reefs are sort of at the nexus of the climate and biodiversity crisis," managing director for government and community relations at Vulcan Chuck Cooper said at the press conference.

The atlas, therefore, is designed with special tools that can help governments and scientists respond to these crises. National Geographic Society program manager Brianna Bambic said the predominant use so far was in the planning of marine protected areas.

The atlas provides a layer called a benthic map, which helps planners see where different types of habitat are located on the reef, such as coral or seagrass. It also provides a layer that allows planners to see which areas are already protected.


"We now have the highly detailed coral reef maps needed to create new spatial plans and marine protected areas. These map layers would have taken us five years to create and only if we had the budget or resources to do so, which we do not," Wen Wen, a marine spatial planner in Indonesia, said in a press release. "The Allen Coral Atlas is playing a large role in prioritizing 30 million hectares of a new Marine Protected Area zoning plan and providing alternative locations for a coastal economic development project that is environmentally sustainable. This tool is a blessing to our country."

This type of use is expected to become even more important as countries are set to convene at a summit of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming, China next year. One goal that is expected to come out of that conference is the aim of protecting 30 percent of land and water by 2030.

"The coral atlas is going to be a really valuable tool for them to do that," Cooper said.

Indeed, countries like Mozambique and Fiji that have already committed to the goal are in the process of using the atlas to choose what part of their coastline to protect.

Reef Restoration

In addition to helping determine what parts of reefs to preserve, the atlas can also be used to determine where to restore coral reefs.

This is something that the nonprofit Coral Vida is doing in the Bahamas, Asner said, by using a layer called the geomorphic map. While the benthic map is more biological, the geomorphic map shows the physical or geological contours of the reef and can be used to determine the best location to plant new corals raised in nurseries.

In addition, the Allen Coral Atlas also includes a bleaching monitoring system updated every couple of weeks to tell users when a reef or part of a reef may be suffering a bleaching event. This is what happens when warm water forces coral to expel the algae that gives them nutrients and color, and is an increasing danger as the oceans heat up. The monitoring system enables conservationists to see what parts of a reef might be susceptible to bleaching so as not to attempt to plant new corals there.

Asner said he originally developed the bleaching tool in the Hawaiian islands, where it had another use. His team worked with the government to determine six things concerned citizens could do to reduce stress on the reef once bleaching was detected, such as limiting their fishing on the reef.

Limiting extra stress, Asner said, "can spell the difference between surviving and not surviving among corals," during bleaching events.

"That was successful, we believe," he said, "and we believe that that sort of approach can be implemented by governments... or anybody using our bleaching tool."

Child Efforts

Now that the team behind the Allen Coral Atlas has developed the technology and partnerships that made it possible, they do not plan to rest on their laurels.

One goal, Asner said, is to integrate coastal data into the atlas.

"Climate change is one of the big problems that reefs are facing, but coastal development and coastal impacts are just as important," he said, "and so you'll see us expanding into that realm over the next couple of years."

On a larger scale, Zolli said that developing the atlas showed the team the kind of collaboration that is needed to solve other major challenges. There are now "child efforts" of the atlas to create similar digital public goods for forests or greenhouse gas emissions.

"This approach is as important as the outcomes that it generated," he said.

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The Allen Coral Atlas recently released the world's first satellite-based global coral reef monitoring system, shown here with New Caledonia bleaching data for the May 10, 2021 biweekly period.

Ten catastrophic threats facing humans right now. 


This photo from December shows NSW Rural Fire Service crews protecting properties as the Wrights Creek fire approaches Mangrove Mountain, north of Sydney. DAN HIMBRECHTS/AAP

Four months in, this year has already been a remarkable showcase for existential and catastrophic risk. A severe drought, devastating bushfireshazardous smoketowns running dry – these events all demonstrate the consequences of human-induced climate change.

While the above may seem like isolated threats, they are parts of a larger puzzle of which the pieces are all interconnected. A report titled Surviving and Thriving in the 21st Century, published today by the Commission for the Human Future, has isolated ten potentially catastrophic threats to human survival.

Not prioritised over one another, these risks are:

  1. decline of natural resources, particularly water

  2. collapse of ecosystems and loss of biodiversity

  3. human population growth beyond Earth’s carrying capacity

  4. global warming and human-induced climate change

  5. chemical pollution of the Earth system, including the atmosphere and oceans

  6. rising food insecurity and failing nutritional quality

  7. nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction

  8. pandemics of new and untreatable disease

  9. the advent of powerful, uncontrolled new technology

  10. national and global failure to understand and act preventatively on these risks.

Read more: Listen to your people Scott Morrison: the bushfires demand a climate policy reboot


Source: Institute for Economics and Peace


Increased boardroom diversity needs to go beyond gender


Lisa Davies, Sydney Morning Herald, 20 September 2021, 6.09pm

“…for those companies with just one or two women directors, are those female voices being heard? And how socially and ethnically diverse is their representation? A privately educated woman of Anglo-Celtic or European background will have a sharply different understanding of life to the industrious daughter of first-generation migrants educated in a western Sydney high school.

This same question of diversity is at issue in the political race for Fowler. While Senator Kristina Keneally is an immigrant, her experience is vastly different to that of migrants from south-east Asia and the Middle East – who make up a sizeable proportion of that electorate.

…But increased diversity should not prevail for its own sake or be simply based on gender. Quality, and not just quantity, in female directorships and senior executive roles is needed. Merit needs to remain the key.”

President Biden's Summit for Democracy

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President Biden to Convene Leaders’ Summit for Democracy

The Briefing Room AUGUST 11, 2021


The President has said that the challenge of our time is to demonstrate that democracies can deliver by improving the lives of their own people and by addressing the greatest problems facing the wider world. In his first six months in office, the President has reinvigorated democracy at home, vaccinating 70% of population, passing the American Rescue plan, and advancing bipartisan legislation to invest in our infrastructure and competitiveness. And he has rebuilt our alliances with our democratic partners and allies, rallying the world to stand up against human rights abuses, to address the climate crisis, and to fight the global pandemic, including by donating hundreds of millions of vaccine doses to countries around the globe.

In keeping this commitment, today President Biden is pleased to announce that in December he will bring together leaders from a diverse group of the world’s democracies at a virtual Summit for Democracy, to be followed in roughly a year’s time by a second, in-person Summit. The virtual Summit, to take place on December 9 and 10, will galvanize commitments and initiatives across three principal themes: defending against authoritarianism, fighting corruption, and promoting respect for human rights. Following a year of consultation, coordination, and action, President Biden will then invite world leaders to gather once more to showcase progress made against their commitments. Both Summits will bring together heads of state, civil society, philanthropy, and the private sector, serving as an opportunity for world leaders to listen to one another and to their citizens, share successes, drive international collaboration, and speak honestly about the challenges facing democracy so as to collectively strengthen the foundation for democratic renewal.

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National Workplace Sexual Harassment Survey

Dear friends and supporters, 

Today I will be speaking at the National Press Club and releasing the findings of the fifth national survey to investigate the prevalence, nature and reporting of sexual harassment in Australian workplaces. 

The Time for Respect report shows that sexual harassment is still unacceptably common in Australian workplaces, with one in three people experiencing sexual harassment at work in the last five years.  

Certain groups continue to experience workplace sexual harassment at higher rates than the national average, and there is still a distinct gender divide in who experiences harassment and who harassers tend to be. It is also concerning that the rate of reporting remains low, at 18%.

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