Romeo Lahey Lecture 2023 review – National Parks Association of Queensland

Romeo Lahey Lecture 2023 review

Author: NPAQ

Photography: Photo Banner & Inline: NPAQ Romeo Lahey Memorial Lecture banner with Prof Hugh Possingham - S Smith

“I am an obsessive bird watcher,” confessed Prof Hugh Possingham. He reflected that, in the distant past, everyone in this region was inherently a bird watcher, and yet despite the lower number of bird watchers today, the collective interest in nature, biodiversity, and natural history is on the rise.

The talk was structured into three main sections: a reflection on the state of biodiversity and nature in Queensland and Australia, an exploration of ongoing conservation efforts, and an invitation to challenge the traditional boundaries of conservation. Our speaker was not one to shy away from controversy, for he believes that true progress often emerges from pushing the boundaries of conventional thought.

Part I: The State of Biodiversity and Nature

The first part of our speaker’s talk delved into the state of biodiversity and nature in Queensland and Australia. He painted a picture of the current landscape, and was candid about the challenges we face. The encroachment of human activity, habitat loss, and climate change have undoubtedly put a strain on our natural ecosystems.

Yet, Prof Possingham remains optimistic. He highlighted the growing interest in nature and conservation. This burgeoning awareness, he believes, is a testament to humanity’s innate connection to the natural world. He encouraged everyone to embrace this momentum and channel it into meaningful action.

Part II: Current Conservation Efforts

The second part of the talk focused on the ongoing efforts to conserve and protect our natural heritage. Prof Possingham acknowledged the hard work of conservationists, scientists, and organisations dedicated to preserving the environment, like NPAQ. He underscored the need to celebrate their achievements and support their initiatives.

Conservation is a dynamic field, and it is essential to adapt to the ever-changing environmental challenges. Prof Possingham encouraged us to embrace innovation and modern technologies to enhance conservation efforts. The focus is on finding creative and effective solutions to safeguard our biodiversity.

Part III: Embracing Progress and Controversy

In the final part of his talk, our speaker took a bold step, challenging the conservation movement to break free from traditional conventions. He suggested that conservation, in some respects, has been too conservative in its approach. The world is changing rapidly, and our methods must evolve to keep pace.

Prof Possingham’s message is clear: “…it is time to think beyond the boundaries of traditional conservation.” He advocates for a more progressive and dynamic approach to address the challenges that lie ahead. His call to action is a rallying cry for conservationists to be bolder, more innovative, and willing to embrace change.

He emphasised that now is a unique opportunity to move the conservation movement forward. “The world is awakening to the importance of biodiversity and the urgency of conservation. This is our moment to be pioneers, to explore new strategies, and to forge ahead with determination.”

Prof Possingham’s talk serves as a reminder of the rich tapestry of nature in Queensland and Australia. It is a call to action, an invitation to embrace progress and innovation, and a challenge to push the boundaries of traditional conservation. To watch a recording of his presentation, visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe for NPAQ Protected Magazine
Thanks for signing up. You must confirm your email address before we can send you. Please check your email and follow the instructions.
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.
Don't miss out on NPAQ updates and Protected Magazine