I am excited to announce that I, Colin Macgregor and Silvia Tavares are now leading a new Centre for Tropical and Environmental Sustainability (TESS) research flagship on Capacity Building and Engagement for Sustainable Development (CBE4SD). Apologies for the buzzwords… I promise we are committed to doing good work.


The flagship seeks to address human-environment interactions from an ethical-ecological standpoint, that brings together social and environmental sciences to promote inclusive capacity building and strategic engagement activities.


The Flagship also seeks to advance sustainable development agendas in Northern Australia and the Tropical World across a range of sectors, including: Governance and Policy; Indigenous Futures; Education for Sustainable Development; Sustainable Urbanism; Inclusive Growth; Gender Equity; Sustainable Livelihoods; and Public Health.


With this mission at its core, our flagship has four primary aims:


  • To advance and demonstrate JCU’s commitment to the SDGs.


  • To build the TESS Community of Practice (COP) by better engaging with outsider disciplines and alternative ways of thinking.


  • To provide a platform for uniting the wide range of scholars across JCU working in the field of global and sustainable development.


  • To demonstrate community and policy research impact on advancing sustainable futures in Northern Australia and the Tropics.



Driving The SDGs


As is emphasised by the SDGs, sustainably advancing human dignity and wellbeing within our planetary boundaries demands interdisciplinary thinking, multi-sectoral participation, and intersectional processes.


JCU’s commitment to support and promote the principles of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through teaching, research and university practice has been endorsed as a university-wide agenda.


JCU has incorporated the SDGs into its Strategic Planning Architecture: University Strategic Intent; University Plan; Integrated Academic Plan; Research Plan; Divisional Triennium Plans; and, Operational Plans. JCU also aims to mainstream the SDGs into University Operational Performance Targets, KPI’s for senior managers and Staff PDPs.


In short, JCU has taken a leading role in sustainable development research and practice that this flagship seeks to further advance.


Flagship Launch


To launch the flagship we intend to deliver a 6 month (1 seminar/month) seminar series focused on ‘Demonstrating impact on the SDGs: from local to global’. The Cairns Institute has agreed to support this seminar series, which will be open to the public and seek to engage with our external research partners. JCU’s TropEco and State of the Tropics teams are also supporting this initiative.


Colin, Silvia, and I look forward to sharing more events and outputs from this exciting new venture.


For more on the important work undertaken by TESS see: https://www.jcu.edu.au/tess