Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Biological Heritage National Science Challenge statement

Press release from the NZ’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge


The New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge welcomes public discussion on science-based options for tackling New Zealand’s biodiversity challenges, including the perspective piece by Professors Kevin Esvelt and Neil Gemmell discussing gene-drive technology for application to achieve Predator Free 2050.

This Science Challenge was established to tackle the biggest threats to New Zealand’s environment. Small mammal predators are one of the biggest threats to New Zealand’s biodiversity, and our approach has always been to explore novel solutions to scale up pest control. A large amount of research effort is being harnessed via our 17 Challenge parties, including scientists in all 8 universities and 7 Crown Research Institutes.

Via the Biological Heritage Challenge we have advocated for a cautious and responsible approach to new technologies. In particular, we have focused on exploratory underpinning research, such as basic genome sequencing of pest mammals and wasps, development of species-specific toxins, creation of new ‘super lures’ to attract pests to traps and bait stations, and perhaps most importantly, on social research to gain a better understanding of the New Zealand public's perceptions of the use of genetic and other technologies for mammal pest control.

We are also working closely with international colleagues on exploratory research on gene editing technologies. However, currently there is no research being conducted in NZ to develop gene drives for NZ's Predator-Free targets for eradication (possums, rats, and stoats). Our approach has been to gain a better understanding of the public's perspectives on future use of genetic and genomic technologies whilst cautiously exploring a wide range of technological options.

Our research is being done in full partnership with Māori - scientists, communities, and iwi leaders. We are also working closely with Predator-Free 2050, Genomics Aotearoa, and the Department of Conservation to coordinate and align New Zealand’s research efforts.

Ultimately, it will be up to the public of New Zealand to decide what technologies are acceptable, balanced against the need to secure a future for threatened and endangered biodiversity.

Research into new genetic tools for a wide range of applications is advancing rapidly and it is important that New Zealand scientists play a role in that work in order to be fully informed about the potential benefits and risks such technologies may offer. Implementation of any new approaches will require clear public support and robust scientific debate as to the safety and efficacy of the technology.

Information on current research projects underway through the Biological Heritage Challenge is available at www.biologicalheritage.org.nz

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 



Reserve Bank: Monetary Conditions Tighten By More And Sooner

The Monetary Policy Committee today increased the Official Cash Rate (OCR) to 2.0 percent. The Committee agreed it remains appropriate to continue to tighten monetary conditions at pace to maintain price stability... More>>


The Download Weekly: Vodafone FibreX back in court

Vodafone and the Commerce Commission head back to court over FibreX in a week the TCF issues broadband marketing codes that should avoid similar problems in the future... More>>


NIWA: Tonga Eruption Discoveries Defy Expectations
New findings from the record-breaking Tongan volcanic eruption are “surprising and unexpected”, say scientists from New Zealand’s National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA)... More>>


Fonterra: Provides 2022/23 Opening Forecast Farmgate Milk Price & Business Performance Update
Fonterra today announced its 2022/23 opening forecast Farmgate Milk Price and provided an update on its third-quarter performance... More>>


Stats: Quiet Start For Retail In 2022
The volume of retail sales was relatively unchanged in the March 2022 quarter, following a strong increase in the December 2021 quarter, Stats NZ said today... More>>



Finder: RBNZ Survey: 64% Of Experts Say Rising Inflation Will Push More Kiwis Into Debt

Soaring inflation and cost of living pressures will see many households pushed to the financial limit, according to experts... More>>