Ben McGowan and Francesca Ciantar. Photo Amanda Keesing.
It’s a bit lonely in the Gondwana Link office this week. We miss the company of Ben McGowan and Francesca Ciantar, who have been with us for the past three weeks – a delightful couple doing significant work. Ben’s PhD is on ‘The Political Ecology of Australia’s National Reserve System – the political and economic context under which private protected areas have developed and the relationship between private protected areas and protected area policy’ – with Gondwana Link and Bookmark Biosphere Reserve in South Aust. as his two case studies. Lots of interviews squeezed into his three weeks here (more to come) and lots of trawling into archives and reminding us of our evolution. Francesca is the community lawyer on her way to becoming an environmental lawyer, via a Masters thesis on ‘how are environmental offsets meant to work, and how do they really work’. It seems to be a very large gap between the two, and her work in WA has reminded us what a tangled system it is, and how much it underachieves on meaningful environmental benefit. Thanks to all who have helped their work, and to those who are about to.