Community events were open to EVERYONE! 

Community Events provided an opportunity for local, indigenous and academic knowledge systems to interact. Community events were scheduled for Monday 27th and Thursday 30th March: Click here to view the Program-at-a Glance. Each night, one event was to be held at the Forum’s venue (i.e. the Novotel Brisbane), the other event was held external to the Forum’s venue. These interactive events identified, highlighted, or described how ecosystems provide benefits to people (ecosystem services). The focus of these community led events was: bottom-up (e.g. community volunteering, monitoring, science, collaboration, partnerships, education, conservation/ management);  and/or they showcased principles of ‘subsidiarity’ (an organising principle that matters ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralised competent authority); and/or shared traditional or local knowledge through media other than formal presentations, posters, workshops etc.

Community Events 1: Monday 27th March 2017

(Monday 27th March 2017 / 5:00 – 6:15pm)

Roma Street Parkland: Capturing the multiple benefits of green space

Event Organisers: City Parklands Services Pty Ltd and Anya Phelan (University of Queensland)

A behind the scenes guided tour with the Curator and Operations Manager of this world renowned garden!

The area that is now called Roma Street Parkland has a long and varied history as a focal point for people and commerce – from a meeting place for local Aboriginal people, a gazetted park in the 1870s, to a railway goods yard. Constructed as an urban renewal project in 2001, the parkland combined the disused railway yard with one of the city’s oldest parks, transforming the area into a lush 16 hectare public garden. Now, Roma Street Parkland is the world’s largest subtropical garden in a city centre and Brisbane’s largest area of green space.

In 2006/7, Brisbane experienced its worst drought in modern history. With severe water restrictions imposed, including no potable water for gardening, Roma Street Parkland embarked on a new era of water management. As a response, the parkland developed an Irrigation Water Efficiency Management Plan (IWEMP) and constructed a 400kl underground concrete tank, pump house, ozone treatment plant and state of the art computer controlled irrigation system. The parkland is now able to capture 90% of stormwater runoff for reuse as treated water for irrigation and cleaning.

Map – Roma Street Parkland



(Monday 27th March 2017 / 6:45 – 8:00pm / Paterson 1 room)

Screening of theatrical production: Mamma’s Bones

Event Organisers: Pacific Island Council of Queensland, and Friends of the Earth Brisbane

logo-text-beside-640x229Using dramatic performance enhanced by dance and song, Mama’s Bones tells the story of a Pacific Islander family who attempt to relocate and find a secure burial place for their mother’s bones when rising seas combined with extreme weather events threaten to engulf their homeland.  A joint project of the Pacific Island Council of Queensland and Friends of the Earth Brisbane, it exposes the reality of climate change for Pacific Islander communities at home and abroad. The screening was followed by a talanoa (community panel and open discussion), picking up key themes from the drama.



 Community Events 2: Thursday 30th March 2017

(Thursday 30th March 2017 / 6:30 – 8:30 pm). This event was cancelled due to cyclone Debbie

Science at the Pub

Event Organiser: Anya Phelan (University of Queensland)

stefan-in-pngOne of our Local Organising Committee members was set to walk Forum participants from the Novotel to the Pig n Whistle Riverside to join the locals for a ‘coldie’. Whilst mingling with the locals, participants were encouraged to try their ’30 second elevator pitch’ on:  why they are here, what ecosystem services are, and what they do for a living! Have a ‘yarn’ with the locals about their experiences and connections to nature. At the pub our Guest Speaker, Mr Stefan Armbruster from SBS World News, was to explore hot topics on ecosystem services with participants and the local community. Anya was then to bring participants back to the Novotel Brisbane refreshed ready for the Closing Plenary in the morning!pignwhistle-full-black-prs

In the spirit of capacity sharing and bringing communities together, this community event was sponsored by the Pig n Whistle, Riverside. All attendees registered for the full Forum were offered 1 free drink (beer, wine or soft drink) at the pub.

The Forum thanks the Pig n Whistle Riverside and Stefan Armbruster for their generous support.


(Thursday 30th March 2017 / 6:30 – 8:00pm / Lawson 2 room).

Movie Night: ‘There Once Was An Island: te henua e n’noho’

Event Organisers: Pacific Island Council of Queensland, and Friends of the Earth Brisbane


This community event is for those who want to broaden their knowledge on climate change, human well-being, and ecosystem services at the community level in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). This is a 1 hr film set in the Pacific Polynesian community of Taku’u (Mortlock Islands), east of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea. Taku’u is experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change first hand. It follows Teloo, Endar and Satty who take us on their personal journeys as they consider whether to move to an uncertain future in Bougainville or to stay on Taku’u and fight for a different, but equally uncertain, outcome. Two visiting Australian scientists offer advice but in the face of a terrifying tidal surge and flooding the islanders must decide whether to stay or move to an unfamiliar land, leaving their culture and language behind.

This event is free to everyone. However, any contributions to the Tulele Peisa program was gratefully received! Click here to see how you can contribute to Tulele Peisa. Tulele Peisa is a community program organising the relocation and integration of people from the Carteret Islands to mainland Bougainville in Papua New Guinea. The Carteret Islanders’ land and livelihoods are under serious threat from the impacts of climate change, and the program aims to relocate them with dignity before they face an emergency situation. At this time they are seeking funds to complete houses for 10 families on the first relocation site in Tinputz, Bougainville.

All attendees registered for the Forum received free popcorn. Although no drinks were provided by the Forum, from 6:20 – 6:50pm a ‘cash only’ bar providing soft drinks was open to participants outside the movie room.