4th Annual General Meeting, 5 November 1998
Australia New Zealand Society for Ecological Economics
by Telephone Conference Call
The meeting opened at 4.00 pm with Mike Young, ANZSEE President, in the chair.
Apologies were received from Terry A'Hearn, Joanne Saleeba, Mark Diesendorf, Steve Hatfield Dodds, and John Tisdell. Eight (8) financial members were present.
2. Minutes of the 1997AGMMike Young presented the minutes of the 1997 AGM. The motion for approval was proposed by Lal and seconded by Sutton, and passed unanimously.
3. Matters ArisingJohn Wolfenden drew the attention of the meeting to the issue of ANZSEE communicating with other professional bodies and wanted to know about progress. Padma Lal and Mike Young both assured the meeting that the matter was being pursued and any development or breakthrough in this matter would be reported duly.
4. President's ReportThe meeting discussed the president's report. Young highlighted the activities surrounding the formation of branches, especially in Sydney; materials to be distributed at the ISEE 1998 Santiago conference regarding the ISEE 2000 Canberra Conference, ANZSEE's effort to restructure ISEE bodies, and other issues.
The report noted that an initial committee was in place to monitor and organise the preliminary ground work of the 2000 Conference in Canberra, and the Centre for Continuing Education has been entrusted with the responsibility of managing the conference. Several steps had already been undertaken in terms of preparation. The process is expected to accelerate after the ISEE Santiago conference.
5. Secretary's ReportAlthough the membership is somewhat less than what it was in 1997, Lal expressed optimism about the prospect of further improvement in this regard. She elaborated on the effort of coordinating an ANZSEE network with similar professionals and institutions in the Asia- Pacific region. According to her, Indian affiliates are about to be officially contacted in regard to ISEE 2000, so that wider representation can be achieved. Donor agencies are being contacted for possible future funding support, but she is sceptical about the role of those agencies especially because their objectives quite often do not necessarily match with ANZSEE's. However, she assured the meeting that she would pursue the matter further.
6. Treasurer's ReportDavid Stern presented the audited financial report for the financial year 1997-98 declaring a sum of $7121.86 as the net assets of the society as of 30 June, 1998. A sum of $7718.00 was transferred to Melbourne conference account of which $2000.00 was provided as a loan. ANZSEE's loss for the financial year was $5044.23. Stern stated that the society incurred a substantial loss from the 1997 conference in Melbourne and it can't afford any further loss. The main avenue for rebuilding ANZSEE's finances seems to be holding profitable conferences. The motion that the financial statement be approved and adopted was proposed by John Wolfenden, seconded by Padma Lal and passed nem con. In view of the holding of the ANZSEE 1999 Conference in Brisbane, Stern assured that appropriate steps have already been taken to switch the signatories of the ANZSEE conference account from officials of the Melbourne branch to John Tisdell and one of his fellow colleagues in Brisbane. As the auditing of the accounts of last conference is about to finish, the process of transfer of signatories should not take long.
7. Election of Committee and Officers for 1999The Executive Officer reported that the following nominations had been received:
There being one nomination for each post, the above were declared elected.
- Terry A'Hearn: Vice President, Melbourne
- Rod Gill: Vice President
- Padma Lal: Secretary
- Joanne Saleeba: Member
- David Stern: Treasurer
- Phillip Sutton: Member
- John Tisdell: Vice President, Brisbane
- Leigh West: Member
- John Wolfenden: Member, Post Graduate Student Coordinator
- Mike Young: President
Young put forward two suggestions: that the meeting should invite outgoing executive committee members to act as advisers, and to make John Tisdell a Vice President. The meeting approved his proposals and accordingly elected Steve Dodds as an observer in the new committee.
Stern proposed that Kali Sanyal be selected to continue as the society's executive officer; Sutton seconded it, and the motion was carried.
8. Policy and Future Activities
a. 1999 ANZSEE Conference at BrisbaneAs John Tisdell was away from the country, the discussion was limited to the existing and future arrangement of the financial accounting and funds issues. Stern pointed out that a draft budget for the Brisbane conference needed to be presented to the executive committee. As ANZSEE cannot sustain another loss from future conferences after the Melbourne conference every member should help make the Brisbane conference profitable. Once the audited accounts are received from Melbourne, the transfer of signatories will be effected in favour of the Brisbane organisers.
Lal raised the issue of the necessity of reorienting, if any, policy direction of conference organising . According to her, it would indeed be an important contributing factor if the society gives a close look into the feedback from Melbourne conference. Young pointed out that the general impact was good, as different groups attending the conference reportedly expressed satisfaction about the overall quality, but of course, there is always a better way of doing things.
b. ISEE 2000 ConferenceGill proposed that the meeting should consider setting up a steering committee from the contributing stake holders for ISEE 2000, such as ANZSEE, CWPR-UNE, ISEE and other likely institutions. According to him, this committee will share all the risk involved and get benefit according to the proportion of seed money they put into the accounts of the conference. But according to Young, a steering committee is already in place consisting of Mike Young, John Wolfenden, David Stern, John Dash, Roderic Gill and Padma Lal, which was formed in August at a meeting in Canberra. These issues will be formalised in the MOU to be agreed to by the parties contributing to the program. It was also suggested that a clear cut estimation of costs of the relevant services by the stakeholders should be made available much in advance. The steering committee will delegate exclusive duties and rights to the stake-holding organisations only after detailed discussion on the draft MOU and feedback from ISEE.
Young reported that he would submit the initial plan for the ISEE 2000 Conference to a meeting at the Santiago conference and explain the feedback when he comes back. Young envisaged that the MOU needs to be formally accepted by the ISEE executive board before any final arrangement is made. An international advisory committee will be set up for the ISEE 2000 conference after ANZSEE finalises the financial arrangements.
According to Stern, the Centre for Continuing Education, ANU was entrusted to provide the work plan leading to the July 2000 conference and hopefully that would be available to the steering committee very soon. Young proposed that Stern would hold the chair of the steering committee in his absence, the meeting consented to the proposal.
c.ANZSEE ExpansionYoung reported that he would hold a ecological economics seminar in New Zealand on his way to Santiago, and look into the possibilities of expanding the chapter there. Mark Diesendorf will hold a meeting of professionals in December in order to set up a branch of ANZSEE in Sydney.
It was agreed that ANZSEE make an effort to develop a network with the professionals in the region in similar fields and utilise it for the interests of the society.
9. Any Other BusinessWolfenden pointed out the opportunity of utilising the professional resources of the Australian Resource Management Society and the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society towards planning seminars/conferences. Gill reported that he was in the middle of developing a network with Chinese professionals in the field. According to him, ANZSEE can benefit if it comes forward with an idea of publishing a journal which will be less academic and more anecdotal and will focus on South Pacific issues.
The meeting agreed to explore the issues further.
The meeting ended at 5-30 pm.
Prepared by Mike Young
Following on from our last Melbourne concert, the focus of the last 12 months has been on making arrangements for two forthcoming events:
- an ANZSEE conference for 1999; and
- hosting the ISEE 2000 conference in 2000
ANZSEE 1999 Conference
Thanks to John Tisdell and his colleagues in Brisbane, arrangements are now well in place for our 1999 Conference in Brisbane. In the spirit of collaboration with other societies, this time will meet back to back arrangement with the 1999 International Symposium on Society and Resource Management. The dates set down for the conference are 5-7 July 1999. The theme is "Grounding the Paradigm".
ISEE 2000 Conference
Arrangements for ISEE 2000 are on track. We have appointed John Dash as our conference organiser and following ISEE 1998 we will begin putting more flesh on the conference program. Our first brochure has been prepared and we will be using this to promote Australia as the place to come to in July 2000.
At this stage, we have formal branches of ANZSEE in Melbourne and Brisbane. Mark Diesendorf is in the process of forming a branch in Sydney and I hope to be able to report that we will have a properly functioning branch in Sydney early in the new year.
As well as formal branches, it is pleasing to note that the Ecological Economics Seminar Program continues in Canberra at ANU's Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies. Similarly, UNE's New England Ecological Economics Program continues to grow at Armidale.
Next week I will be in New Zealand and, while there, will give ANZSEE's first seminar in that country. I remain hopeful that we will be able to get a branch of the Society established in that country.
One of the exciting advances this year has been the establishment and use of the ANZSEELIST. Thanks to John Wolfenden for setting up ANZSEELIST and maintaining it. I perceive that the traffic on this list is about right. Occasional bursts of debate accompanied by a regular stream of basic information.
The ANZSEE web site
I go to websites at least once a day and am continually amazed that they work. In ANZSEE's case, we are fortunate to have a site maintained by David Stern.
Your Executive Committee
Throughout the year, the entire committee has been very fortunate to have the continued support of our Executive Officer, Kali Sanyal. Kali does a great efficient job with minimum fuss and maximum efficiency. We are very fortunate to have him. Rod Gill our Vice President continues to provide leadership in the development of ecological economics. Our Secretary, Padma Lal, has been working constructively to build links with Asia and the Pacific. ISEE is looking to us to build links into this region and the 2000 Conference will provide the perfect opportunity to do this.
I will leave our financial report to our Treasurer David Stern. However, I would like to complement him on the able way that he has taken over from Mick Common.
Finally, let me thank the other members of the Committee who have all made significant and noticeable contributions. Apart from maintaining the ANZSEE list, John Wolfenden continues to represent post-graduate students, Terry A'Hearn and John Tisdell keep us abreast of developments in their branches. Joanne Saleeba has managed all the processes involved in winding up all the arrangements from ANZSEE 1997.
It is now time for ANZSEE to revise its strategic plan and in particular to grow. Our web page states that "Recognising that economies are embedded and dependent upon the ecosphere, it is the mandate of ANZSEE, in conjunction with ISEE, to encourage scientific research on the integration of economics, ecology and related disciplines, and to promote the general understanding of the results of that research through education, policy analysis, communication and other appropriate means."
The purpose of ANZSEE is to provide a focus in the Australasian region for activities in ecological economics including:
I still think that this vision is appropriate.
- fostering trans-disciplinary discourse among the social and natural sciences
- promoting education, graduate research and research funding in ecological economics in the Australasian region.
The challenge for us all is to make this happen in as big a way as we can.