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Bioprotection Aotearoa Vital To Tackling Future Challenges

The co-directors of Bioprotection Aotearoa say their new Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE) will be a vital contributor to New Zealand’s recovery from COVID-19 and response to climate change.

Bioprotection Aotearoa builds on the whakapapa of the Bio-Protection Research Centre, which has focused on scientific research to find sustainable solutions to New Zealand’s pest and weed problems. It expands the remit to include integration with Mātauranga Māori and the social sciences. It also includes one more Crown research institute and several more universities as partners.

“Bioprotection Aotearoa is a vital tool for Aotearoa New Zealand in rebuilding economic strength as we recover from COVID-19,” says co-director Prof Travis Glare. “It acknowledges the importance of our primary industries in the challenges we face, by developing sustainable intergenerational solutions to our pest and weed problems and the effects of climate change.”

“We have a more holistic approach in designing for resilience in our landscapes,” says co-director Assoc Prof Amanda Black. “And we have included communities and people in our research, so it’s more than just the fundamental science, it’s delivering to those communities.

“We have the next generation of science leaders to help steer us through what lies ahead,” she says. “It brings together excellent researchers across many different disciplines, to ensure our solutions work for our landscapes and our people.”

Bioprotection Aotearoa is founded on the model of Te Taiao, considering science not in isolation, but as an integral part of a society and economy.

“We are delighted that TEC has funded Bioprotection Aotearoa, ensuring our best scientists and social scientists work together to find solutions that stick,” says Prof Glare. “We will also continue training the next generation of researchers, through our postgraduate programme, ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is ahead of the curve in finding unique, sustainable, solutions to our unique challenges.”

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