Natural resources think-tank set for ag

STAFF REPORTERThe West Australian

A forum will bring together industry, government, researchers and policy-influencers next month for a 'think-tank' on how to support sustainable natural resource use in WA agriculture.

Agricultural resource risk management executive director John Ruprecht said a productive and resilient natural resource base underpinned the ability of WA's agricultural industry to tackle growing world demand for food and climate challenges.

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"Sharing ideas and knowledge is essential to ensure a sustainable, prosperous and healthy farming community and economy now and into the future," Mr Ruprecht said. "We need to continue to strengthen partnerships and collaborations with sustainability leaders and stakeholders, as well as highlight the research, tools and initiatives available to support continued success and address key industry challenges.

"The forum is about improving the understanding of sustainable agriculture and its significance to Western Australia."

Speakers include Emeritus Professor Alan Robson; DAFWA Science Leader in Soils, Noel Schoknecht; Dr Peter Stone, Deputy Director of CSIRO's Sustainable Agriculture Flagship; Senior Honorary Research Fellow Kevin Goss; Sue Middleton, 2010 Rural Woman of the Year and more.

The department will also present its Report card for sustainable natural resource use in agriculture at the event.

Mr Ruprecht said the report card was a first for the department and WA, and presented the best available information on the current condition and trend of the land and water resources that support agriculture.

"The Report card is a unique resource which brings together scientific information in one transparent and concise document and will help to inform research, development and extension activities for industry, state and national government," he said.

The Productive Land and Water, Healthy Environment Forum, hosted by the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia will be held at the Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle on Friday, September 6.

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