WOMAD 2023: The Planet Talks to probe into crimes against nature and the seaweed revolution

The Planet Talks
The Planet Talks

The 2023 WOMADelaide is all, but set to take over Adelaide’s Botanic Park in South Australia from March 10 to 13th.

As part of the activities marking this year’s event the organizers have announced its thought-provoking program – The Planet Talks.

The Planet Talks is the festival’s three-day ecological and conversational forum, featuring some of the world’s foremost thinkers, activists, scientists and leaders in engaging and thought-provoking discussions about issues and solutions that affect our lives on the blue planet.

This year’s program will feature the return of two of Australia’s most respected media identities in Patricia Karvelas and Fran Kelly, appearances from renowned human rights advocate Patricia Anderson AO and Eytan Lenko, CEO of Mike-Cannon Brookes’ philanthropic Green Fund, Boundless.

The Party Room political podcast returns to the Planet Talks for a ‘Live at WOMADelaide’ special episode. Join Fran Kelly and Patricia Karvelas, who, with some very special guests, will delve into current Australian political commentary, breaking down significant topics and having a bit of fun along the way.

Leading the session ‘Voice to Parliament’ and in collaboration with Reconciliation SA, is an incredible panel of First Nations women including Co-chairs of the Uluru Dialogue committee Patricia Anderson AO and Prof Megan Davis, APY Executive board council chair Sally Scales, and host ABC journalist Dan Bourchier. The group will explore the opportunities and complexities of enshrining a First Nations Voice to Parliament in our Constitution as the Australian public approaches the referendum on the question later in the year.

Reaching net zero by 2050 is now legislated, but how are we going to get there? In ‘Race to Net Zero’, Eytan Lenko, Richie Merzian, former climate negotiator for the Australian Government, Executive Director of the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility Brynn O’Brien, and panel host Maree Lowes, will explore how Australia can reach this target by 2050 and examine if it should be government or private industry leading the race to net zero.
Also announced as part of the 2023 WOMADelaide Planet Talks program:

‘Natural Rights’

Opening the program on the Saturday of WOMADelaide and discussing the idea of personhood in the ecology around us and what would happen if we extended human rights to the earth.

When policy fails, can the legal system step in, what would happen if rivers had human rights? Join panel host, award-winning science and environmental communicator Tanya Ha, who alongside community leader, advocate, and scholar Anne Poelina, and legal scholars Erin O’Donnell and Peter Burdon will discuss the pitfalls and prospects that exist in recognising personhood in the ecology.

‘Can Seaweed Save the World’

With thousands of kilometers of coastline, a tradition of seaweed use going back thousands of years, increasing demand for sustainable foods and products, and the capacity to contribute to regenerating ecosystems, is Australia ready to take advantage of the seaweed revolution?

Join entrepreneur Steve Meller, marine researchers Alice Jones and Catriona Macleod, and session moderator, ABC Adelaide’s Nikolai Beilharz, in exploring whether seaweed could provide new opportunities for regional communities as well as climate solutions.

‘Crimes Against Nature’

Stealing water, illegal logging, smuggling animals and plants – there are some pretty terrible things that humans do, but who is there to hold them to account?

Join water economist Sarah Wheeler, ecologist Phill Cassey, and environmental lawyer Emma Carmody with session moderator, the host of Schwartz media’s 7am Podcast, Ruby Jones, as they delve into how we can fight crimes against nature.

WOMADelaide Director, Ian Scobie said, “the Planet Talks, provide a platform for important conversation around current issues of environmental and social concern, which as a society are important to openly discuss.”
South Australian Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison said.

“This year’s WOMADelaide Planet Talks program is another huge incentive for visitors to flock to Adelaide’s Botanic Park/Tainmuntilla for the upcoming March long weekend.”

“The star-studded line up of thinkers, innovators, advocates and scientists will join the impressive line-up of world-renowned international music artists, to make WOMADelaide 2023 one of its best yet.”

The Planet Talks are generously supported by Claire Pfister and David Paradice.

By James K. Attaglo Wilson

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