Australia New Zealand Society for Ecological Economics
7th Annual General Meeting
12:00 PM, 14 December 2001
Australian National University, Canberra
Minutes prepared by Rosemary James
The AGM started at 12 noon on Friday 14 December, 2001. Mark Diesendorf, ANZSEE President, chaired the meeting. Seven members participated in the AGM, which was conducted by telephone. Participants were as follows (for the entire meeting unless otherwise shown):
Mike Young (left the meeting immediately after the election of Committee members)
Nigel Jollands (joined the meeting during Item 7 of the agenda, immediately prior to the election of Committee members and left during Item 8 (a))
Apologies were received from Padma Lal and Chris Livesey.
2. Registration of Proxies and Confirmation of Agenda
No proxies were received.
3. Motion on Current Membership
Rosemary James introduced and spoke to the following motion:
Those who were members of ANZSEE in the 1999/2000 year and those who have joined since are deemed to have been members of ANZSEE the time of joining or renewal up to midnight 31 December 2001.
Seconded: Mark Diesendorf; Motion adopted
4. Minutes of the 2000 AGM
The minutes of the 2000 AGM were considered; the Secretary was requested to add the names of the attendees to the minutes. The minutes were approved without any other amendments. (Note: it proved difficult to determine all the participants in the 2000 AGM. The names of those known to have attended have been added to the minutes).
5. President's Report
The President tabled his report, a copy of which is appended.
6. Treasurer's Report
The Treasurer presented his report, a copy of which is appended. David Stern was thanked for all his hard and detailed work as Treasurer, both for ANZSEE and in relation to ISEE 2000.
Moved: Mark Diesendorf; seconded: Wendy Proctor.
7. Election of Office Bearers
Mark Diesendorf, John Wolfenden
David Stern, Rosemary James
Rosemary James, Steve Dovers
Rosemary James, David Stern
Rosemary James, Wendy Proctor
Mike Young, Wendy Proctor
Mike Young, Wendy Proctor
Mike Young, Wendy Proctor
Chris Livesey, David Stern
* Philip Sutton chaired the meeting from this point
** It was noted that David Stern expects to be working overseas in 6 months and a replacement Treasurer will be required.
There was some discussion regarding the inclusion of Branch representatives in the Committee. It was agreed that if the Society has not made arrangements to include Branch Presidents and/or other leaders of centres of ecological economics thinking in Australia and New Zealand on the Committee, that the Objects, Rules and Constitution be altered to make that possible at the earliest opportunity. Moved: Mike Young, seconded: Rosemary James.
8. Future Activities
(a) ANZSEE 2002 conference
the conference would be held from 1-3 July 2002;
he had submitted an application for the conference to receive funding as a Fenner Conference;
grants of up to $8000 were made to Fenner Conferences;
we should now establish a Conference Subcommittee; and
there were a number of matters requiring immediate attention, including:
grant applications to bodies such as Environment Australia and AusAID;
the determination of a date by which abstracts will be due; and
the establishment of an abstract review panel.
Philip Sutton noted that we should appoint a Conference Convenor, who would co-opt others as necessary.
It was agreed that:
Mark Diesendorf would be the conference coordinator
Nigel Jollands would be the NZ contact
abstracts would be due by the end of February; and
written papers would not be required.
David Stern outlined the process for funding the Conference:
a budget should be prepared by the organisers and approved by the Treasurer;
a loan made from the ANZSEE funds; and
ANZSEE could make available its Conference bank account at the Commonwealth Bank to the organising committee if they so required.
David Stern noted that the Conference could be subsidised if necessary, given the current account balance.
There was some discussion regarding the need for ANZSEE to ensure that it captured all of David Stern's accumulated knowledge regarding the planning and management of conferences. David noted that:
he would be available to answer any queries;
Mike Young had prepared a report following the ISEE 2000 conference; and
that David had already supplied examples of budgets from previous conferences to Mark Diesendorf, and that these budgets were all in the ANZSEE files.
It was noted that Mike Young had contacts in EA and Padma Lal in AusAID.
(b) ISEE 2002 Tunisia conference
David Stern is attending the conference, Nigel Jollands and Wendy Proctor may be. It was noted that the opportunity for ANZSEE to organise a specific session had passed, but that there may be benefit in arranging an informal meeting of ANZSEE members at the conference. A display table may be set up for ANZSEE.
David Stern will email ANZSEElist to identify other probable attendees, and will serve as a contact point.
(c) Future Membership Procedures
It was agreed that David Stern would check that the arrangements for the collection of membership fees by ISEE from 1/1/2002 were completed. Once the arrangements are operational, the Secretary will contact all ANZSEE members and advise them of the new arrangements.
(d) Direction setting
There was some discussion of the document circulated prior to the meeting by Philip Sutton, regarding future directions for ANZSEE. Philip undertook to prepare a proposal for action on organisational development, membership engagement and direction setting based on a consultation process. This proposal would be provided before the end of February.
This year there has been a lull in activity following the very successful ISEE 2000 Conference. Furthermore, a number of us, on the Executive Committee and in the Society as a whole, have been almost overwhelmed with our 'normal' work. Some of us no longer have the support of large institutions, if we ever did. Most members enjoy attending seminars, but seem to be unwilling to commit time to formal structures. So, we have nodes in Canberra, Melbourne, Armidale, Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide, and some active individuals in several parts of New Zealand, but not all of these points on the map represent formal branches.
There is a sense of crisis, and also an awareness that
crisis = danger + opportunity.
The opportunity is certainly there for energetic members, who wish to make a contribution and have some time to contribute, to stimulate discussion and debate on the ANZSEE list, to organise and contribute talks and discussion to local meetings, and to help organise and contribute papers to the ANZSEE 2002 conference. ANZSEE is in a healthy financial state (see Treasurer's report) and, with more than 100 members in Australia and New Zealand, has the capacity to contribute significantly to ecologically sustainable and socially equitable development in the region, in terms of scholarly research and teaching, networking, training, fostering public debate, and facilitating social and organisational change.
To achieve all those good things, we need a willingness of all members to contribute a little time when they can, and a tolerance of a broad range of approaches to Ecological Economics. We must keep in mind that Ecological Economics is not a branch of an academic discipline, but is rather an evolving interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary field.
ANZSEE 2002 Conference
The conference is being planned for 1-3 July 2002 in Sydney. All members should now be preparing papers or posters for this important event and reflecting on how they can help to make it a success. I expect that abstracts will be required by the end of January. We have submitted a funding application for a grant to make ANZSEE 2002 a 'Fenner Conference'. Could some of our members help to prepare applications to AusAID, Environment Australia and any other potential sources of funding? The more funding we can raise, the lower the registration fee and the greater the number of conference participants and invited speakers we can have. I hope that a special feature of the conference will be the participation of delegates from the Asia and Pacific region.
Links with the Chinese Society for Ecological Economics
On one of my trips to China I had the pleasure of meeting Wang Songpei, vice-president of the Chinese Society for Ecological Economics, and some of his colleagues. I learned that ecological economics was established in China in the early 1980s and that a strong intellectual tradition has developed there. It involves scientific, economic and interdisciplinary research; some policy studies; and the provision of public information. Of the latter, perhaps the most notably achievement was a national radio series on ecological economics from June to September 1993. Some Chinese ecological economists had planned to attend ISEE 2000, but unfortunately their visas did not come through in time. However, we will try to ensure that China will be well represented at ANZSEE 2002.
Because of the uncertainty in the time that will be available to me in 2002, I will not be standing for president at the AGM. However, I hope to continue on the Committee and especially to help with the organization of ANZSEE 2002.
For their contributions in late 2000 and 2001, I would like to thank all the members of the Committee. Special thanks are due our Secretary, Rosemary James, and our Treasurer, David Stern. In addition to his painstaking accounting for ISEE 2000 and ANZSEE, David has successfully managed our web site and kept it up to date.
The main activity of the year on the financial front was the completion of all business associated with the ISEE 2000 Conference. However, this work was not entirely complete until the current financial year. Therefore, the surplus from ISEE 2000 will be recorded as income in the 2001-2 financial year. To aid in assessing ANZSEE's current financial position, participants at the AGM were presented with both the audited accounts for 2000-1 and provisional accounts as at 1 December 2001. I have now consolidated ANZSEE's bank accounts so that we now have two Commonwealth Bank accounts and a Macquarie Cash Management Trust. This, together with the wrapping up of ISEE 2000 and central collection of ISEE fees (see below), will make the job of treasurer fairly simple from now on.
ANZSEE Income and Expenditure Statement
ANZSEE's finances were stable in 2000-1 with income of $935 (mainly interest) and expenses of $1210 (mainly insurance and audit fees). The deficit was $275. In the first 5 months of 2001-2 ANZSEE earned $7507 of which $7062 was ANZSEE's share of the surplus from ISEE 2000. Expenditure was $589 and the surplus $6918.
ANZSEE Balance Sheet
At 30 June 2001 ANZSEE's net assets were $15322. The total increased to $22240 by 1 December 2001, which is the highest value in more than 5 years.
I have been assured that from the next calendar year ISEE will include Australia and New Zealand in the central collection of chapter fees and their remission to the local chapters. I expect to receive $US15 per member on average. With more than 100 ISEE members in Australia and New Zealand ANZSEE should expect to receive $A3000 annually from this source. Together with interest income, this means that ANZSEE will generate more income than is required for ongoing expenses.