The 6th Biennial Global Wave Conference (GWC2020) is an international gathering to advance the recognition of the value of waves and their protection around the world. It brings together the best international minds from the surfing, conservation and innovation communities to tackle the world’s most challenging ocean issues. In February 2020, this huge international event will be taking place on our own stunning shores, after Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve Inc. successfully won the rights to host it at the Gold Coast Campus of Southern Cross University.
Ahead of the event, we thought we’d chat with one of the organisers, to get a better idea of what to expect. Enter Larissa Rose, Director of local environmental consultancy business Glowing Green Australia (GGA), and adjunct lecturer on Climate Change & Environmental Management at Bond University. Larissa is an essential member of the volunteer committee at GWC2020, and will also be presenting at the conference.
Larissa explains to us how she got the idea for GGA.
“GGA was born out of the middle of my economics class whilst doing my Environmental Management and Sustainable Development Masters Degree in 2010 at Bond University. I was sitting in my class thinking about how I could apply sustainable management practices from coursework, to being a mother of three, as well as carve a role in environmental management and assessment, while working from home. And I thought, ‘yep perfect! Build an environmental consultancy business that supports my ethos on environmental management whilst supporting my children through their life.’”
In addition to her busy role supporting the Environmental & Sustainability Manager for the conference, and working in a team to ensure the STOKE* certification component of the event is being met, Larissa will also be addressing the delegates on her passion subject – renewable energy.
“I will be discussing the role of renewable energy, the opportunities to reduce carbon from our waterways, shipping, boating and embedding sustainable fuels for the future, to keep our oceans clean and reduce our need for fossil fuels in Australia and globally,” she tells us.
Of course, the ideas around sustainable fuels are not without challenges.
“The biggest barriers to transitioning across our dependency and heavy use of liquid fossil fuels has been driving policy to make it a standard part of the future fuel program, mandated nationally to be in fuels in Australia,” says Larissa.
“The second hurdle has been the lack of education, knowledge and awareness on the opportunities, necessity and compatibility of low carbon sustainable fuels to be part of Australia’s energy future.”
As a lecturer at Bond, Larissa is certainly doing her part to assist with the lack of education hurdle. She wants all passionate young environmentalists to understand the power that they have to make a difference.
“Young people need to know they have and can play a strong role to drive change at a policy level. Physically lobbying via policy government submissions, sitting on environmental advisory committees, councils, panels and taking progressive leadership through this avenue can make change, just as complimentary to activism.
“Enabling young environmentalists and students to take ownership with this form of change is in my opinion extremely valuable.”
Hence the GWC2020 Youth Leadership Program, which Larissa is helping to build, with the aim of showcasing and inspiring up and coming oceanic leaders and surfing stewards.
“GWC2020 is important as it highlights the role of collaboration, working as a collective and standing together to think about the future, take ownership of the future and whilst provide a platform to build the leaders of the future,“ she says.
Global Wave Conference 2020 is being held from 10 to 14 February 2020, at the Southern Cross University Campus. For more information and registration, visit globalwaveconference2020.com.au.
*STOKE is STOKE is the Sustainable Tourism and Outdoors Kit for Evaluation. It’s the world’s first sustainability certification body with standards built specifically for surf and ski tourism operators, destinations, and affiliated events.