On behalf of the Chair of the IGU Commission on Land Degradation COMLAND (Paul Hudson), we are pleased to advise of an upcoming COMLAND meeting and field trip in Tasmania, Australia.  This will be in late October 2014 and be in partnership with the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand (EIANZ).

The EIANZ is a professional association for environmental practitioners in Australia and New Zealand ( www.eianz.org ). EIANZ conferences have previously been held in most Australian and New Zealand capital cities.  This year’s Conference will be on 30 and 31 October.  We plan on a specific “COMLAND” stream of papers during the Conference.

There will be a 5 day pre-Conference field trip in Southern Tasmania (25-29 October).  The trip cost is all-inclusive (transport, accommodation, meals).  Our hosts (researchers and practitioners) will show us their areas of interest and lead discussions.  Participants will gain an understanding of local environmental issues in a challenging environment.

The field trip will travel to the Huon Valley (south of Hobart) to examine and discuss forestry issues and research.  It will then move to the Central Highlands to consider land management (farming) issues in a challenging climatic environment.  Next is travel to Queenstown and the copper mine that has been operating for over a century and has left a stark environmental legacy.  The trip continues to Strahan and Macquarie Harbour.  On the return drive to Hobart, a stop is planned to meet a local landholder so their farm management issues can be considered. 

To lock in transport and accommodation, we need Expressions of Interest for the field trip by 8 May 2014 and payment by 30 June 2014.  Registration and Payment for the field trip is separate to Registration and Payment for the EIANZ Conference.  Both can be made via the EIANZ web site.

The field trip is being publicised to both EIANZ and COMLAND members – interest is expected to be strong, and COMLAND members are being advised early so they can reserve a place on the trip.  Seats in the bus are limited and will be issued on a first come, first served basis.  This information is currently being uploaded to the EIANZ web site – but in the meantime, respondees are requested to send their EOI to the organiser ( Owen Graham – owen.comland@gmail.com )  as well as via the EIANZ website.

·       Field trip brochure and EOI form: http://www.comland.org/tasmania-australia.html

·       COMLAND website:  www.comland.org   The old University of Texas hosted website is no longer maintained and will soon be closed.

·       EIANZ website:  www.eianz.org   EIANZ will have a web page specifically for handling Conference and Field Trip bookings and payments.  This is in preparation and expected to be published by mid April.

Again, you are reminded that EOIs for the field trip are due by 8 May 2014.