International conference in Christchurch part of new pilot program to measure social impact

An international conference to be held at the Te Pae – Christchurch Convention Centre  has been chosen by Tourism New Zealand as one of the pilot events in its Enrich New Zealand – Conference Impact programme, which aims to measure and maximise the positive societal impacts conferences generate to communities, from environmental impact, to public health and job creation.

To be held on 10-15 Oct 2021, the 11th INTECOL International Wetlands Conference is expected to attract academics, researchers, and experts from around the world to discuss best practice in wetland research and management.

“Bringing experts from all around the world will generate some good discussions and outcomes on sustainability practices for our existing wetlands and how to re-develop wetland areas where they can protect us against floods and pollution,” said conference chair, Dr Philippe Gerbeaux from the Department of Conservation’s Freshwater team.

“A traditional knowledge and Mātauranga Māori approach will be drawn on as we discuss sustainable policies for wetlands that best reflect current research and state-of-the-art management practices. This conference will be an excellent opportunity to raise awareness and appreciation of the importance of wetlands in sustaining our New Zealand landscapes and local communities.”

In conjunction with World Environment Day today, New Zealand opened the International Peatland Festival on May 31 with a video and presentation showcasing the array of wetlands in New Zealand.

Peat Fest is run by RePeat, a youth-led initiative pushing for a shift in how we view, use, and imagine peat wetlands around the world.

“The Peat Fest opened our eyes to a major agricultural movement in Europe and Asia called paludiculture – re-wetting unsustainably farmed drained peatlands and cropping wet-adapted plants for eco-friendly and carbon-absorbing high value commodities,” said Karen Denyer, executive officer for The National Wetland Trust.

“The potential in Aotearoa NZ is huge, and the tremendous depth of traditional ecological knowledge held by Maori will be key.”