We are pleased to announce the following Symposium Sessions.
Ecological Halos - A New Future for New Zealand’s Biodiversity
Organisers: Dave Butler, Charles Daugherty and Simon Collins (Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust)
Emerging, landscape-scale initiatives are laying the foundation for the return of indigenous biodiversity across mainland New Zealand. This symposium explores these initiatives, which often arise from community-based programmes supported by local and national governments. As fenced sanctuaries have created small but safe nurseries for previously extinct or declining species on the mainland, ‘halos’ of native bird populations have spread beyond the fences into areas surrounding the sanctuaries. A national vision for a predator-free New Zealand, barely imagined even a decade ago, is rapidly developing. The symposium takes stock of the present situation and considers challenges in the path to a predator free New Zealand and the return of abundant indigenous biodiversity to all New Zealand. The symposium organisers are David Butler and Charles Daugherty and the keynote speaker will be Sir Rob Fenwick CNZM, KSTJ. His working title is: A Predator-Free Future for New Zealand?
Freshwater Restoration in the Waikato
Organiser: John Quinn (NIWA)
The Waikato River catchment is a focus of current freshwater restoration activity, spurred by the Treaty of Waitangi settlement on the river, which legislated the Vision and Strategy for a healthy and well river and established the Waikato River Cleanup Trust to support restoration action, and the current Healthy Rivers Waiora Plan Change that will set out a supporting policy platform. This symposium discusses some of the science tools that are supporting these processes, research findings on methods to manage land use and within waterbody pressures and proposed new integrative approaches to restoring the many highly degraded lowland Waikato lakes.
Developing restoration standards at national and international levels
Organisers: Kingsley Dixon and Tein McDonald (Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia)
In April 2016 a partnership of Australian restoration groups launched the National Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration in Australia, which then led to SER developing Standards at an international level. This symposium brings together speakers from three Australasian nations and representatives of the regional and international bodies of the Society for Ecological Restoration to review the content and the value of standards and current progress with SER’s international standards. While each nation has different needs and contexts, a common ground appears to be the recognition that ecological restoration and rehabilitation (or restorative management) are aligned along a spectrum of recovery that includes both full recovery (the most desirable aim wherever it is possible) and partial recovery (the most desirable fall-back position where restoration is not possible). Is this common understanding sufficient to provide a cogent framework upon which to progress the mission of substantially recovering ecosystems across our region and elsewhere?
Community and Co-management
Organiser: Monica Peters
The symposium is an opportunity to showcase novel research from NZ and internationally. The citizen science symposium will be designed to:
• provide an overview of state of ecological/environmental citizen science in New Zealand
• showcase a cross-section of initiatives taking place in other countries
• investigate the challenges associated with setting up citizen science programmes and using community-generated data
• foster discussion on how data validity issues can be addressed and overcome
• highlight the role of technology in redefining how data are captured, used and shared
• highlight considerations such as data ownership
Organiser: Bruce Clarkson
Innovations for mine site restoration
Organiser: Paul G. Nevill
Restoration of post-mining environments is critical for Australia’s ability to sustainably and responsibly exploit its vast mineral wealth. However, the lack of cost-effective restoration solutions at the scale required is currently a major impediment for regulatory and social compliance. Government approval for mining programs is conditional on achieving targets in the ecological restoration of impacted habitats. These targets can include 70% of the original flora species diversity, yet current best-practice restoration in arid Australia achieves <15% of the pre-mined biodiversity. This demands scientific knowledge for innovative solutions and our symposium brings together speakers on diverse topics and seeks to present updates on the latest approaches to mine site restoration.
Advancing seagrass restoration - sharing successes
Organiser: Marnie Campbell (University of Waikato)