Community group profile – Nature and Society Forum

Filed under How-To Centre

Here at climateXchange we are in the business of sharing climate solutions. We believe that sharing solutions is the quickest, simplest and easiest way for us all to learn, adapt and evolve. We are lucky to have so many wise, knowledgeable and inspiring people in local community groups, including in the Nature and Society Forum.

The Nature and Society Forum aims to be a catalyst for social change to bring about biosensitive societies, which satisfy the needs of humankind and the Earth’s ecosystems.

One of its driving forces is its patron, Stephen Boyden, a luminary who has proven that courageous people make change possible. A Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, he is a distinguished scientist. Nearly 40 years ago he catalysed a culture of revolutionary change agents by starting an entirely new scientific discipline right here at our own ANU. His vision of a Biosensitive Future inspired caring, innovative people from all walks of life to evolve Human Ecology into an innovative artform.

Wisdom and insight have enabled Stephen and his colleagues at the Nature and Society Forum to be relevant and revolutionary decades after they started. They are still on the cutting edge of helping bring forward evolutionary transition, transformation and change.

The NSF has proposed a conceptual framework to encourage and facilitate thinking and communication about the implications of different future options for the full spectrum of ecological and health issues.  For example, it has proposed the following checklist for town planners to consider in planning for biosensitive cities:

Energy use and electricity generation

  • To greatly reduce use of energy in urban systems
  • To minimise use of fossil fuels as a source of energy
  • To minimise use of fossil fuels in the generation of electricity
  • To greatly increase the use of clean energy sources

Gaseous emissions

  • To minimise the release of carbon dioxide
  • To ensure no release of CFCs and other compounds that damage the ozone layer in the stratosphere
  • To minimise release of sulphur and nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbon particles and tobacco smoke etc. that adversely affect human and ecosystem health


  • To ensure a supply of clean water (no pathogenic micro-organisms, pharmaceutical agents etc.)
  • To minimise the use of water
  • To maximise the recycling of water

Waste disposal

  • To maximise recycling of material resources
  • To minimise solid waste
  • To ensure recycling of nutrients in organic waste
  • To ensure effective public sanitation


  • To encourage walking, cycling
  • To minimise number of cars on the roads
  • To maximise the use of public transport
  • To encourage transportation of people and freight by rail
  • To encourage the use of low-energy, non-polluting vehicles


  • To minimise noise levels in public places

Built environment

  • To design buildings to minimise use of energy in general and to make use of clean energy sources
  • To design new urban areas so that houses are oriented to make best use of solar energy
  • To ensure houses provide adequate protection from extremes of weather
  • To design buildings and streets to ensure maximum local surveillance and to encourage convivial social interaction
  • To provide local activity centres that encourage community interaction, involvement in biosensitive activities and enrichment of the local social environment
  • To provide recreational facilities for all age groups
  • To design the built environment and parkland to encourage walking, running, cycling and other outdoor exercise
  • To design the built environment and parkland to be aesthetically pleasing

Green areas

  • To maximise photosynthesis within the urban system
  • To encourage local food production
  • To plan for plenty of parkland and greenery
  • To maximise local (urban) biodiversity


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