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Landcare Research - Wildlife Management Congress

Landcare Research - Wildlife Management Congress

27 November 2003 - Congress attracts diverse range of ethnicities One of the biggest contingents of indigenous delegates ever to attend an international science congress is now gathering in Christchurch.

The 3rd International Wildlife Management Congress begins on Monday, and will bring together over 900 researchers from more than 50 countries for a comprehensive week-long programme. The theme is "Ki te raki ki te tonga: ki uta ki tai * From the north to the south: from mountains to sea", which reflects the broad scope of the 530 spoken presentations, and highlights wildlife management issues common to both the Northern and Southern hemispheres.

Landcare Research is a major host, along with The Wildlife Society (USA), the Australasian Wildlife Management Society, and Ngai Tahu. Landcare Research scientist Dr Oliver Sutherland says the congress has attracted delegates from a wide range of ethnicities, each bringing an enlightening cultural perspective on wildlife issues.

"We have more than 80 indigenous and developing country delegates. Ten Australian Aboriginal wildlife managers from the Northern Territory and Western Australia are attending. There are representatives from various Native American nations including Inuit, Inuvialuit, and Chipewyan Dene from Canada; Blackfoot and Cree from the United States; and Seri from Mexico. There are also delegates from Samoa, the Cook Islands, and various African nations.

"Indigenous people feel a cultural and spiritual responsibility to act as guardians of wildlife, but this is rarely recognised by governments. During the congress we will discuss the implications of this, from the viewpoints of overseas delegates and from New Zealand's indigenous Maori people."

Among the highlights:

Plenary Speech: Sir Tipene O'Regan (Ngai Tahu, Aotearoa / New Zealand): Sustainable exploitation of traditional mahika kai (traditional hunting, fishing and food gathering) within the Ngai Tahu takiwa: the evolution of custom and ideological conflict in the new century. (James Hay Theatre, Christchurch Convention Centre, Kilmore St, downtown Christchurch, Monday 1 December, 9.15 am)

"Nga kaitiaki o te ao * guardians from around the world * Indigenous perspectives on wildlife management" (all-day session, C2, Canterbury University, Tuesday 2 December)

"Management of wildlife by indigenous people" (morning session, C2, Canterbury University, Thursday 4 December)

And: "Community involvement in wildlife management" (afternoon session, C2, Canterbury University Thursday 4 December).

The delegates will be hosted by more than 40 Maori delegates, and will attend a pre-congress hui.

The 3rd International Wildlife Management Congress

1-5 December 2003

University of Canterbury, Central Lecture Theatre Block (C-Block) http://wildlife2003.landcareresearch.co.nz

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