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Leading Environmental Summit Kicks Off Next Week


The Environmental Defence Society’s leading environmental summit for 2024 kicks off in Ōtautahi Christchurch on Monday 10th – Wednesday 12th next week. The Future is Now: Biodiversity, Climate and Us is being held amidst the coalition government’s unprecedented reversal of environmental protections for Aotearoa New Zealand’s natural world. This conference can hardly be more timely. It will dig deeply into the reforms, critique them and explore alternatives with expert presenters including iwi Māori, local government, ENGOs, government agencies and academia.

The overarching focus will be on how we can address the twin crises of indigenous biodiversity loss and climate change without causing harm to our natural world.

On Monday, a half day workshop will focus on the proposed wind-back of freshwater and indigenous biodiversity protections, with an explanation of what is involved, followed by sector commentary.

On Tuesday and Wednesday the conference proper gets underway with notable keynote speakers including international experts providing the global context, iwi Māori providing a mātauranga perspective on addressing environmental challenges and 3 Ministers explaining the government’s rationale for current policies.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Hans-Otto Pörtner, Bremen University
  • John Pearson, British High Commission
  • Gabrielle Huria, Te Kura Taka Pini
  • Penny Nelson, Department of Conservation
  • Hon Simon Watts, Minister for Climate Change
  • Hon Tama Potaka, Minister of Conservation
  • Mike Joy, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Resources
  • Hon Rachel Brooking, Labour Party
  • Simon Tucker, Fonterra
  • Lara Taylor, Papa Pounamu
  • Agathe Hitchon, French Embassy
  • Rt Hon Simon Upton, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.
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And many more.

The full conference programme is available here.

For a complimentary media pass please email Fiona.

Livestream media passes are available. These passes allow you to view sessions live and also watch recordings on demand.

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