Christine Milne and UQ students (Sook Kuan San, Christine Trompe, Ariana Magini and Brendan Fugate)
Christine Milne and UQ students (Sook Kuan San, Christine Trompe, Ariana Magini and Brendan Fugate)

Bias within international conservation literature has been shown to obstruct effective practice, according to new University of Queensland (UQ) research presented at a  national conference.

Presenting at the Students for Sustainability conference with over 100 delegates, UQ Bachelor of Science student Ariana Magini shared the findings of a study conducted with Associate Professor Kerrie Wilson, and researchers within UQ’s School of Biological Sciences.

"The project is the first comprehensive literature analysis of conservation research, and analysed 8111 publications, published last year from 274 countries," Ms Magini said. 

"Biases identified include the lack of open access journals; the under-representation of developing countries; countries of high conservation importance; and publications not led by researchers from the country that the publication subject is about. 

"Our study did, however, find evidence of solutions with increasing numbers of open access platforms and more conservation research being led in-country. 

"Our findings concluded that knowledge is power, and our best chance of creating change and conserving natural systems is with improved education and awareness." 

Ms Magini was one of 30 current undergraduate and honours students who presented their projects of sustainable and innovative ideas and solutions to issues related to the environment, food, and/or ethics. 

Six keynote speakers, including Christine Milne (former Australian Greens leader), and Stephanie Lorenzo (CEO of Project Futures), shared their expertise on how to apply sustainable changes. 

"It is easy for young people to feel powerless in the face of the huge challenges that our society is experiencing but I returned from the conference full of inspiration and newfound knowledge, " Ms Magini said

"Yet this convergence of proactive students demonstrated that we are not limited by the out-dated and unsustainable practices of past generations - there is much room for improvement, and we have the intelligence to make the necessary changes. 

"In my opinion, the days of professions that seek only to bring wealth are numbered, while I see more and more youth actively pursuing careers that allow them to ‘be the change [they] wish to see in the world’ (Gandhi)."

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