Inaugural Lecture

'Life is Full of Trade-offs'

Professor Oscar Cacho

Presented in July 2012, this lecture is part of a series of inaugural professorial lectures held in Armidale and open to the general public. In this lecture, Professor Cacho explains the importance of biosecurity in the protection of Australia, and discusses specific threats to the Australian environment from exotic species.

"Biosecurity is everyone's business", Professor Cacho says. "The community has a role to play in protecting Australia's environment. This includes telling the truth to Customs when returning to Australia from overseas, and reporting noxious weeds".

Professor Cacho, who has worked at UNE for the past 18 years, started his professional career as a marine biologist and later became an economist. This will be his Inaugural Lecture to the Armidale community as a Professor of Economics at UNE.

His research interests centre on the application of economics and biology (bioeconomics) to tackle problems of sustainability in agriculture and natural resources, and to protect native ecosystems. He has been part of a Technical Advisory Group on Control of Invasive Species in the Galapagos Islands and a visiting expert at the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations in Rome. He is currently involved in a project on reducing deforestation and forest degradation in Indonesia, and has funding from the Australian Centre of Excellence for Risk Analysis to study the surveillance and control of invasive species.

His lecture explains how the principles of economics and biology can be used to address threats from diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease, Hendra virus and equine influenza, and to resolve conflicts over natural resources.

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