An initiative of Earthwatch Institute

ClimateWatch now in Western Australia

Earthwatch Australia has launched their new ClimateWatch program in WA with Minister for the Environment Donna Faragher becoming Western Australia's first ClimateWatch user.

ClimateWatch is a climate change monitoring program that allows every Australian to be involved in collecting and recording data that will help shape the country's scientific response to climate change.

Earthwatch Australia Executive Director, Richard Gilmore said; "Scientists have identified an urgent need for large-scale data gathering to assess how biological systems are responding to climate change.

"Citizen-science programs like ClimateWatch will significantly increase the amount of data available for scientists to apply to their research."

ClimateWatch was developed by Earthwatch Australia, with the support of the Bureau of Meterology, the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation and the University of Melbourne.

The first project of its kind in the southern hemisphere, ClimateWatch will allow local community groups, individuals and businesses to get hands-on in the science of understanding climate change by simply observing nature from their own backyard, while out bushwalking or at school.

Rio Tinto has partnered with Earthwatch to establish ClimateWatch in Western Australia.

Rio Tinto Chief Executive of Iron Ore and Australia, Sam Walsh, (left) said "We hope that by partnering with EarthWatch to deliver ClimateWatch in Western Australia we can educate our young people and their families on the values of our environment and in doing so reverse some of the issues we are facing in this carbon - constrained world."

Earthwatch Australia's Director of Science Partnerships, Andy Donnelly explained the importance of ClimateWatch; "One of the key aims of ClimateWatch will be that in a thousand years, we will be able to look back on specific data sets, like that of birds feeding which Ms Faragher has entered here today, and see what environmental changes have occurred over time."

"Earthwatch and Australia's scientific community need the help of every Australian to start taking notice of the world around them, and where and when changes are occurring."

Photo left to right: Western Australia Minister for the Environment Donna Faragher; Andy Donnelly, Earthwatch Director, Science Partnerships; Sam Walsh, Rio Tinto Chief Executive of Iron Ore and Australia; and Philip Weickhardt, Chairman of Earthwatch Australia.