Aerial photograph of St Andrew Island in the Kimberley / photo by L.Gibson
A joint venture
We are a collaboration of leading research organisations and are a strong collective voice for managing biodiversity outcomes in Western Australia.
As an independent entity, we engage with end users to address knowledge gaps, needs and priorities.
Our aim is to help shape strategic priorities in biodiversity knowledge, to deliver excellence in biodiversity research and ensure that biodiversity information is accessible to stakeholders.
While the current effort in accumulating biodiversity knowledge across Western Australia is significant, there is agreement amongst all stakeholders that the effort is fragmented and could be improved to provide integration of knowledge to inform policy and land use decisions. A Steering Committee was formed in 2013 to progress the formation of an institute to that would both accommodate the conservation of biodiversity alongside development of the State of Western Australia.
WABSI’s (Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute) governance structure includes a Council representing the partners, overseeing a Board of Directors, who meet quarterly for strategic oversight of the program and operations.
An executive team manages day-to-day operations, extension, finances and program development.
The University of WA acts as Administering Organisation for the purpose of providing general administrative support and management of WABSI.
Strategy, vision and mission
WABSI’s mission is to:
- Shape the strategic priorities for acquiring and managing terrestrial biodiversity knowledge
- Deliver excellence in terrestrial biodiversity research by fostering active collaboration across sectors and between researchers
- Ensure information is available in a form that is relevant and accessible to government policy makers, industry, land managers and other stakeholders
There are four key areas of focus for WABSI:
- Biodiversity survey.
- Ecosystem processes and threat mitigation.
- Restoration and ex-situ conservation.
- Biodiversity information management.
The Board will approve all research programs and projects. A rigorous system of reporting and accountability will be embedded in the research agreements.
Project design will require all projects to be multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary research thus fostering collaboration and joint publications.
Our journey so far
In early 2013, a Steering Group was established to progress the development of the Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute. There was representation from a balance of research agencies, government advisory agencies and industry.
Foundation members included:
- University of Western Australia
- Curtin University
- Murdoch University
- Department of Parks and Wildlife
- Chamber of Minerals and Energy
- Environmental Protection Authority
- Department of Mines and Petroleum
- Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority
- Western Australian Museum
- BHP Billiton