Emu

Free forum on the benefits of trees for the community

Friday 18 October, 2013
Respected botanist and arboriculturist Dr Greg Moore will highlight the "hidden" economic, social and environmental benefits of trees in urban spaces at a free Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) Urban Centres forum to be held near Shepparton on Thursday, October 17th.

Respected botanist and arboriculturist Dr Greg Moore will highlight the "hidden" economic, social and environmental benefits of trees in urban spaces at a free Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) Urban Centres forum to be held near Shepparton on Thursday, October 17th.

Dr Moore's research and views on trees and the urban environment regularly feature on radio and in newspapers and magazines and he has been the major speaker at conferences on the topic in Australia, Israel, Hong Kong, USA and New Zealand.

"While the aesthetic values of trees are widely recognised, the hidden social and economic benefits to urban communities - for example how shade protects infrastructure such as roads and railways - also need to be understood and valued," Dr Moore said

He says other benefits of trees and vegetation in urban centres include:

erosion control; protecting biodiversity; providing attractive areas for people to walk and be active thereby increasing the likelihood of exercise and reducing the incidence of obesity-related health issues;filtering atmospheric pollutants; reduced energy demand and emissions as shade keeps temperatures down during hot weather;reducing localised flooding as trees hold and absorb water during heavy rain; andcarbon storage.

Goulburn Broken CMA CEO Chris Norman said Dr Moore's research highlighted many of the threats to the resilience of the Catchment's biodiversity, land, waterways and productivity identified in the

2013-19 Goulburn Broken Regional Catchment Strategy (RCS).

"The RCS will guide efforts by us and the community over the next six years to protect and improve the Catchment's natural environment, and therefore our communities' way of life, wellbeing and prosperity," Mr Norman said.

"During meetings we had with the community to develop the RCS it became clear that across the Catchment there were six sub-regions that shared similar community, biodiversity, land and water characteristics. Given most of us live and work in or near major centres such as Shepparton, Seymour and Benalla, one of these six key sub-regions was identified as 'Urban Centres'."

Mr Norman said that in Urban Centres, typically, biodiversity was poor; weeds, pollution and development affected waterway health and quality; and natural disasters such as flood were a threat to a large number of people's properties and safety.

"However, we also know that people in towns and cities put great value on areas of parkland and the birds and wildlife they attract, and enjoying access to waterways for fishing, boating and other recreational opportunities," he said.

"By inviting the community to come along to hear Dr Moore talk about the social and economic benefits of protecting vegetation across our landscapes and along our waterways, we hope to encourage people to become more involved in identifying opportunities and activities to improve the urban environment."

The Urban Centres forum will be held on Thursday, October 17th at The Connection, between Mooroopna and Shepparton. Doors open at 6pm for a 6.30pm start. The event is free, however, RSVP to fional@gbcma.vic.gov.au or 0407 875 376, is essential for catering purposes.

Dr Moore will also talk to the Shepparton U3A, 14 Esson St, Shepparton, on Friday, October 18th at 10am. For more information about the U3A, phone 5821 5020.

Media note: Dr Moore is available for interview. Please contact Fiona Lloyd on 0407 875 376 or fional@gbcma.vic.gov.au for contact details.

Dr Greg Moore