An initiative of Earthwatch Institute

ClimateWatch Trail launched for Parliament House in Canberra

Bird watching and plant spotting were on the Federal Parliamentary Agenda in Canberra yesterday with the launch of a ClimateWatch Trail for Parliament House and the Capital Hill Precinct.

The Hon. Mark Dreyfus MP, Cabinet Secretary to Prime Minister and Cabinet and Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, officially launching the ClimateWatch Trail

Earthwatch Australia has taken citizen science directly to the Federal Parliament of Australia with the release of a special ClimateWatch Trail which will provide Members of Parliament, staff, media and visitors to the Parliament the opportunity to help develop a database for scientists on Australia's flora and fauna.
The project was launched yesterday by the Hon. Mark Dreyfus MP, Cabinet Secretary to Prime Minister and Cabinet and Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency.
Kelvin Thompson MP, the Federal Member for Wills, with a wide knowledge of birds in Australia, also attended.  
 kelvin thompsom                         richard on laptop
Left: Kelvin Thompson MP, Federal Member for Wills       Right: Earthwatch Team Rachel Maitland, Richard Gilmore
                                                                                                                                    and Celina Chan at the launch.       

 mark tee shirt
The Hon. Mark Dreyfus MP being presented with an Earthwatch tshirt by guests, in appreciation of the official launch of the  ClimateWatch Trail.

After signing on as ClimateWatchers, guests at the release of the ClimateWatch Trail took to the Parliamentary gardens for some bird watching and plant spotting using laptops to record their observations. 

 lynda chamber
The Hon. Mark Dreyfus MP with Dr Lynda Chambers, from the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, [CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology partnership] checking information on the ClimateWatch Trail.

Richard Gilmore, Executive Director of Earthwatch Australia said, "By observing and recording changes in plant and animal behavior in response to rainfall and temperature around the Federal Parliamentary precinct, people participating in the project will be helping scientists better understand and monitor the natural environment in Canberra."

The Federal Parliament ClimateWatch Trail map, which includes the Capital Hill Precinct where many MPs and others use for walking, running or cycling, was distributed to Members and staff in Parliament and is now available online.
Guests recording their observations at Parliament House Canberra.

In attendance at the Climate Watch Trail Launch Parliament House Canberra
Wednesday 25 May 2011.

Dr Lynda Chambers, Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research
Peter Clough, Manager Government Affairs, Woodside Energy
Daphne Morros, Chief Adviser, Corporate Relations, Rio Tinto
Petrina Raitt, Environment Manager, Woodside Energy
Avi Rebera, National Australia Bank
Bernadette Enright, Communications Office,  Leighton Contractors
Peter Doherty, Atlas of Living Australia
Donald Hobern, Atlas of Living Australia
Richard Lindsay, CEO, Urban Development Industry Australia
Richard Gilmore, Executive Director, Earthwatch
Celina Chan, Marketing Assistant, Earthwatch
Rachel Maitland, Research and Learning Coordinator, Earthwatch 
Ron Smith, Corporate Media Communications, Earthwatch

The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, and the University of Melbourne are the program partners of ClimateWatch. CSIRO and the Atlas of Living Australia are delivery partners.

Rio Tinto is the founding sponsor of ClimateWatch.  Leighton Contractors and Woodside are major sponsors.