ECO Conference 2017

ECO Annual Conference 2017

at Stoke Memorial Hall, 548 Main Road, Stoke, Saturday and Sunday.

Full programme can be downloaded here

Protecting democracy and the environment are intimately linked.  Both involve responsibilities to the future and to the present.  What happens when the focus shifts from rights to responsibilities?  Do we need a constitution for New Zealand and if we were to have one, what should it contain?  How do we restore democracy to resource management decision making and respect the Treaty of Waitangi and the relationships involved at the same time instead of sacrificing one for the other?

What should we ask of our selves and our politicians for today and for the future?  Where do the political parties stand on climate change, biodiversity, and water quality?

ECO’s  annual conference in Nelson explored these issues with some fantastic speakers.  Issues explored included the biophysical and political and other limits and which pathways to take and the actions needed to get success in protecting water, biodiversity and the climate for now and the future.

Keynote speakers included Sir Geoffrey Palmer who devised the Resource Management Act and is now proposing a constitution for New Zealand, Paul Young from Generation Zero on the Zero Carbon Bill, and others.  See below for more information on speakers and the programme, including field trips.


Friday 25 August

Afternoon  Field trips:

Visit to the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary and then to Paremata Flats at Cable Bay where restoration planting is taking place.  Locals lead these trips and talk to us about what is happening at each location.

Friday evening: 7.30pm-9pm: Gathering of conference participants and groups: short introduction of groups of themselves and explanation of their work: Stoke Memorial Hall.

Saturday 26 August

8.30am: Mihi whakatau

9.00am: Welcome

9.10am: Cath Wallace from ECO: Theme and core issues in the Conference

9.20am-9.50am: Keynote speaker: Dr Betsan Martin, vice chair of ECO on responsible transitions in the cross currents of change - thinking ecologically.  Copy of Dr Martins' speech is here.

9.50am-10.00am: Discussion.

10.00am-10.30am: Cath Wallace on pathways to restore democracy and responsible conservation

10.40-11.10: break

11.10: Rick Zwaan, Action Station

11.40am-11.50: Discussion

11.50-12.05: discussion: speakers and general

1pm: Keynote speaker; Sir Geoffrey Palmer on "The New Zealand Environment and the Constitution - has the time come for an environmental right?"

1.30pm: discussion

1.50pm: Climate change: limits, pathways and actions:

Sir Alan Mark, Climate Consensus Coalition Aotearoa - Wise Response

2.20: The Zero Carbon Bill: James Young-Drew, followed by discussion.

2.45: Dr. Kennedy Graham, GLOBE NZ and the Vivid Economic report: scenarios for decarbonisation in New Zealand, followed by questions and discussions.

3.40pm: Joanna Santa Barbara, Our Climate Declaration

3.50pm: Catherine Cheung on Fossil fuels and just transition

4pm: discussion

4.10pm: Environmentally responsible and democratic conservation and resource management for the future

Sally Gepp, Forest and Bird, on "a lawyer's perspective on latest environment and conservation legal and planning issues".

Peter Lawless: "Regional marine biosecurity in the top of the south".

Bill Gilbertson on "Harnessing forest stewardship standards and getting involved"

With time for discussion after each presentation.

6pm: Dinner with cash bar at Stoke Hall - included in conference fee

Independent Nelson bookseller  Volume Books will have a book stall at the Hall on Saturday - great opportunity to pick up books by some of our speakers, and on other topics of relevance to the conference content!

7pm: Saturday Evening: Election Debate with representatives of Political Parties

Given this is election year, what do the political parties see as the goals, funding, actions and pathways to recovery?  Politicians on the environmental spot is an evening session – a democratic process of parties stating where they stand and answering questions.  We are non-partisan but we all know that democracy is important at all levels. Damien O'Connor (Labour), Richard Prosser (NZ First), Nick Smith (National), Eugenie Sage (Greens), Geoff Simmons (TOP). 

Sunday 27 August

8.30am-10.30am: ECO AGM for ECO member groups.  

11am: Conference resumes - environmental responsibility and democracy for the future: problems and pathways

Discussions on fresh water: Barney Thomas of Wakatu Corporation on "managing for centuries".

Navigating through the murk to clean and healthy fresh water - various speakers, to be confirmed

12.35pm: Lunch - included in conference fee

1.30pm: Panel of speakers on challenges, pathways and actions to protect and restore national biodiversity:

Devon McLean, Environmental Advisor with the NEXT Foundation

Martin Rodd, DOC Nelson on conservation of landscape 

Derek Shaw of Brook Waimarama Sanctuary 

Peter Lawless, facilitator of Nelson Biodiversity Forum: forum strategy

Susan Moore-Lavo from Nelson City Council on Nelson Nature project

Debs Martin from Forest and Bird on working with bats in Top of the South

4-4.45pm: Conference reflections and closing.

Monday 28 August:  Further field trip

A further field trip on Monday to Takaka to see the Waikoropupu Springs and other places of interest in Golden Bay. 

Next page: ECO AGM 2017