Introduction to the SeaViews Conference 1998
Good environmental management is good economic management: it allows us to keep faith
with the future and with our fellow inhabitants of the planet. Good environmental management
requires recognition of the sea as a series of ecosystems, all part of the biosphere with
extensive and at times intricate links between air, land and sea. Securing the natural capital on
which we and all future life depend will require some changes in the way we see and use the
sea, and the way we organise ourselves, our institutions, laws and management systems.
These considerations underpinned this conference which took place in 1998 the International
Year of the Oceans. This year should be the beginning, not the end of attention to the need for
change. This conference looks to the future, presents a variety of aspirations, identifies preferred
futures, examines the current situation and discusses how we can move ahead.
The papers in this volume come from several countries and a rich range of perspectives. All
the papers have some relevance to policy and management – but they come from academics
from a variety of disciplines, from fisheries industry practitioners, indigenous people, NGOs,
central and local government officials from a wide array of agencies, science providers, lawyers
and many others. The views expressed are those of the presenters and summarisers: They
are not necessarily those of ECO or the sponsoring organisations.
Some of the proceedings are papers delivered during the conference, others are summaries of
key issues emerging from discussions or workshops. Not all the events are evenly covered. In
some cases papers were not available. Reportage of workshops varied: but that is the nature
of such conferences.
Fisheries came in for particular attention because of its impacts and its economic importance
–but the conference ranged far and wide.
We thank all those who made the conference possible and a success. Those who presented
papers, facilitated sessions, debated from the floor, provided displays, sponsored the conference,
organised and staffed it. The help of unpaid volunteers is warmly and gratefully acknowledged,
as is the support of the ECO team and the agencies that put money into the venture,
trusting us to produce a good conference and acknowledging the need for discussion of the
issues. The sponsors were the New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries, Department of Conservation,
the Ministry for the Environment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Ministry
of Research, Science and Technology, the Auckland Regional Council, the National Institute
of Water and Atmospheric Research, the School of Business and Public Management of Victoria
University of Wellington and the Jenifer Altman Foundation of the USA.
ECO was pleased by the conference: it was intellectually worthwhile and mapped out grounds
for the future. It did not do everything – no single conference could. We do not see it as an
isolated event. It was developed on the basis of the ideas and experience of many and it will
add to thinking for the future and we hope, influence future directions for management of
human impacts on the sea.
Environment and Conservation Organisations of New Zealand Inc.
(and Senior Lecturer in Public Policy and Economics, Victoria University of Wellington)
The SeaViews proceedings can be downloaded (large file 3.3 megs).
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