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Seminars wrap Antarctica art, science and policy

MEDIA RELEASE


14 April 2008

Seminars wrap Antarctica art, science and policy

The unique qualities of Antarctica as well as the issues currently facing the continent and the Southern Ocean will be explored from several angles in a series of three panel discussions from 14 April.

The Victoria University series is part of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra's "Exploring Antarctica Festival" that runs until 20 April.

Fantastic Antarctica, the first discussion at the Wellington Town Hall on 14 April will be facilitated by broadcaster Kim Hill and feature Professor Bill Manhire (writer and director of the University's International Institute of Modern Letters), Dick Frizzell (painter), Professor Lloyd Spencer David (Director of the Centre for Science Communication at the University of Otago) and Vonda Cummings (marine ecologist at NIWA).

Protecting Antarctica, the second in the series, starts at 5.30pm on 15 April at the Paramount Theatre. The panel will focus on threats posed to Antarctica’s relatively pristine and isolated environment is, and panellists will discuss efforts to ensure that the unique qualities of Antarctica are not undermined by human activities. Facilitated by David McDowell, former New Zealand ambassador to the United Nations, the panel features Joanna Mossop (Victoria University marine and Antarctic law expert), Neil Gilbert (Environmental Manager, Antarctica NZ), Cath Wallace (School of Government, Victoria University), Michael Donoghue (Department of Conservation) and Peter Cozens (Director of the Centre for Strategic Studies, Victoria University).

The third discussion, on 16 April from 5.30pm at the Paramount Theatre, takes as its focus climate change and Antarctica as the driver of global oceans and atmospheric systems. Facilitated by Judy Lawrence, former director of the Government's Climate Change Office, the Cool Antarctica discussion will feature five Victoria University academics: Professor Martin Manning (Director of the New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute), Nancy Bertler (Antarctic Research Centre scientist), Professor Jonathon Boston (School of Government), Professor Peter Barrett (Antarctic Research Centre), and Associate Professor Ralph Chapman (Director, School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences).

Victoria has a history of involvement with Antarctica which crosses disciplines and many decades. Law alumnus, diplomat and international jurist, the late Chris Beeby made lasting contributions to international environmental law and was a key negotiator for The Antarctic Treaty. The annual Beeby Colloquium at the Law School honours his contribution to international law.

ENDS

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