Landscape Reclamation: Science, Art or Business?

By Karel Grezl and John Cameron Rodger.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Is landscape reclamation a matter of science,
art or business? The relevant landscapes are those cleared
and degraded by industrial-scale human activity, to
support agriculture, urban development, mining and
quarrying, and industrialisation. Words matter:
reclamation is distinguished from revegetation,
reforestation, rehabilitation and (unachievable)
restoration. It is also established as relevant and
important. But most of all, it is shown to be practicable.
The question of whether landscape reclamation is a matter
of science, art or business is explored generally and then
tested in particular instances. The Hunter Coalfield and
Gluepot Reserve in Australia, and the Eden Project in the
UK, are used as exemplars. Other case studies of lesser
scale and ambition are also considered. The inquiry
establishes that landscape reclamation is a matter of all
of science, art and business. But it is also urgent,
substantial, communal and very long-term. Landscape
reclamation needs a sense of imperative commitment to a
large-scale undertaking by diverse interests (academic,
community, business and government) for an indefinite
timescale. It thus represents a major challenge, at both
the levels of catalysis and continuity.

Keywords: Landscape Reclamation, Science, Art, Business

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp.13-30. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.676MB).

Dr. Karel Grezl

Program Development Manager, The Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment, The University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

As a mature-aged student, my recently-completed PhD (“Sustainable Regional Development and Innovation”) reflects a working lifetime’s interest in realising ideas, then more recently regional development and most recently sustainability. My undergraduate qualifications in metallurgy and law, and broad-ranging experience in heavy industry, regional development, commercialisation of university intellectual property, and private consultancy create the foundations for this inquiry. My personal travel experiences inform my interest in the environment. My founding work on landscape reclamation in the heavily-mined Hunter Region with the Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment provides the outlet for the practical realisation of that interest. The Institute’s vision - regional solutions for a sustainable future - makes sense to me. My PhD research gives me bases for understanding that vision. Landscape reclamation is a locus of know-how for its partial realisation. Effective leadership and communication are needed for its full realisation.

Dr John Cameron Rodger

Director, The Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment, The University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

I have been associated with The Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment from its establishment in 2005 and am its founding Director. I received my PhD from the University of Sydney in 1976. My research has focussed on reproductive biology of marsupials and has made major contributions in the area of male marsupial reproduction and gamete function. My work has also been directed at developing technologies to assist the conservation of endangered marsupials and immunologically-based fertility control for pest species. I held the position of Director of the national Cooperative Research Centre for Conservation and Management of Marsupials from 1995 to 2002. Both during my time with the Centre and the Institute, I have placed strong emphasis on the practical application of research and in working in strong partnership with various stakeholder interests.