Michael Looker

Michael Looker

Michael Looker is a trained botanist and one of Australia’s conservation leaders. Appointed Australia Program Director in 2005, he was the first Australian to join TNC. Michael has already led the Australia Program to achieve remarkable results including the protection of 3.6 million hectares through 28 land acquisitions, and the establishment of a Corporate Conservation Council to forge a closer alliance between business and conservation. He has also developed close working relationships with Indigenous communities and organizations supporting their aspirations in looking after their country. The acquisition of Fish River Station (180,000 hectares) in the Northern Territory as part of this program marked the first time that a conservation NGO in Australia has been involved in purchasing land that will be handed back to its Indigenous Traditional owners and managed for conservation.

Michael's Posts

Considering Climate Change from a Country on Fire

February 7th, 2013

Three recent events have made Australia a flashpoint for the global discussion around severe weather, and Michael Looker, the Conservancy's Australia program director, offers three solutions to coping with a changing climate. More

Farming Carbon with Fire: Helping Northern Australia Restore Natural Burn Patterns

January 17th, 2013

Dr. Michael Looker shares some big news from Fish River Station and what it could mean for Indigenous Australians and traditional fire regimes across the north. More

Championing Conservation in Australia

November 30th, 2012

As The Nature Conservancy in Australia embarks on a new chapter, its director, Dr. Michael Looker, reflects on the past and future of a life in conservation. More

A Significant Signing: Launching Australia’s Largest Protected Area

July 16th, 2012

Learn how the Conservancy is helping manage Australia's largest — and newest — protected area. More

Wade Davis and the Language of Conservation

October 24th, 2011

A National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence reminds us that losses of indigenous peoples, cultures, and languages lead directly to environmental damage. More

Wielding Words to Protect Australia

May 6th, 2011

For our inaugural Nature Writing Prize in Australia, we solicited essays that celebrate both nature writing and the country's magnificent landscapes. Meet the winner and read her essay. More

In Australia, Conserving Land and Tradition

January 24th, 2011

A new partnership promises to conserve habitat for wildlife, provide sustainable livelihoods for people and return 450,000 acres to its traditional owners. More

Using the Outback for Carbon Cutbacks

October 21st, 2010

The director of The Nature Conservancy's Australia program explains why that country is a major player in fighting climate change, and how some simple changes could make it even more effective. More

Here’s to Another 40,000 Years

August 11th, 2010

A new model for conservation in Australia protects important landscapes, provides jobs and keeps indigenous people in the role of managing their own lands, writes the Conservancy's Michael Looker. More

Indigenous Lands Conserved in Northern Australia

September 29th, 2009

Indigenous Aboriginal ranger Romeo Lane points out an ancient painting of a six-legged goanna lizard to the curious crowd of media and visitors — myself included — that surrounds him. The painting is just one of thousands that scatter the escarpments of Arnhem Land in the very northern tip of Australia’s vast tropical savanna. This rich […] More

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