Engineers Australia achieves United Nations accreditation and global contribution to sustainability programs
These global discussions at the UN level will directly influence the quality of the decisions we make on the ground in Australia.
“As a nation and as engineering professionals, we need to get much smarter in our practical applications around resilience,” says Fleming.
“Resilience means having the ability to adapt and recover from extreme events. It can mean having more capacity and functionality in our engineering systems than we need on a normal day. It is a form of insurance. »
“We need to have a mature conversation about the effects on operational effectiveness and what, as a nation, we are willing to invest in.”
Having access to the highest level of scientific knowledge won’t buy us a level of resilience, but it will help us implement the right solutions, says Fleming. It will also allow for better conversations between Engineers Australia and national organizations involved in infrastructure, energy and other engineering related areas.
Sustainability requires biodiversity
The other powerful link between the UN and Australian engineers and scientists concerns biodiversity, says Fleming.
“Sustainability requires an understanding of the role of biodiversity,” he says. “The investment community is beginning to recognize biodiversity as natural capital that has economic value. It’s not a new conversation, but it’s one that major institutional investors are beginning to recognize. »
“Engineering sectors can have significant effects on biodiversity and therefore play a key role in its restoration.”
“So, for example, we can protect floodplains and wetlands that provide clean water, flood protection and support ecosystems that provide a variety of tourism, food production and other services. value. Or we can continue to undermine and weaken these systems.
A more mature connection between engineering systems and biodiversity, according to Fleming, will benefit from the science and knowledge provided by the UN.
The global role of Engineers Australia
Where does Engineers Australia fit now that it has been welcomed into the UN’s environmental policy dialogue?
Engineers Australia’s responsibilities will be both domestic and global.