PURPOSE OF PROJECT
Earth’s aquatic ecosystems are deteriorating quickly. There is increasing pollution and decreasing bio diversity. There are many international conventions driving regional and local marine policy but we see a need to build in better recognition and use of indigenous knowledge with scientific knowledge for the integrated management and governance of aquatic ecosystems to allow for resilient and sustainable solutions. There is an imperative to align economic interests with environmental responsibility. We want to motivate case studies and action research that demonstrates best practice in these areas as a positive example for reproduction.
The privileging of indigenous knowledge is to address the dominance of applying ‘western’ science to the environmental crisis, to counteract persistent systems of fragmentation by examples of whole system approaches to governance and management of water, and, in the situation of poorly developed policy, to give input and leadership from practice and research on effective ecosystem protection and enhancement of biodiversity.
The purpose of the project is to bring whole systems thinking and integrated governance into the field of aquatic ecosystems in the Pacific region. The purpose is to bring together contributors with experience and knowledge of water systems, with leadership in fields relevant to the ecology and biodiversity of water and its management. It is anticipated that exchanges of information will contribute to the fields of work of participants, and that it will inform the proposed case studies or research. It is a relational approach to knowledge, research and governance in which diverse interests are interwoven.
Accordingly there will be contributions from indigenous leaders and practitioners, with the anticipated involvement of relevant Environment departments/ministries and agencies including NIWA, SPREP, SOPAC. as well as independent contributors. The project is for 30-40 participants.