What is special about Australian Caves and Karst? Presented by Andy Spate in The Royal Society Room -Tuesday June 3 – 8.00pm
Andy Spate has been involved in cave and karst science and management for more than 50 years. His professional career started in the CSIRO Division of Land Research and then moved on to the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service where he was a Senior Project Officer specialising in earth sciences as well as firefighting and other national park activities.
He retired in 2001 to set up his own consulting company, Optimal Karst Management, which has been retained in all Australian states, and in New Zealand, South Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, South Africa and elsewhere to provide cave and karst management advice. Some of these consultancies have involved the nomination of World Heritage sites and UNESCO Global Geoparks or the review of nomination documents and management plans for such sites.
He is the author, or co-author of more than 140 published papers, conference presentations, book chapters and substantive consultancy reports.
Australia has 19 World Heritage Properties – many of these have karst-associated values. We had one UNESCO Global Geopark until it was torpedoed by stupid political ideologies. Australia has a program of recognising significant ‘national’ landscapes – again many of these have karst values and provide some recognition of karst.
There are other areas such as the Nullarbor limestone karst and wonderful sandstone karst and pseudokarst landscapes of northern Australia which are worthy of World Heritage or similar status which are again precluded from proper recognition by Australia’s political and cultural systems.
This talk reviews the karst areas of Australia in regard to their international and national significance and comments on what Australia’s karst resources
offer the nation.