What is Sustainability?
In a world where everyone’s trying their best to live sustainably, wouldn’t it be good to know what “sustainability” actually meant? There’s a lot of confusion around sustainability, and rightly so, it’s a very broad term that can be applied in many senses. But in an environmental sense, sustainability can be quite easily defined. Come along to find out what environmental sustainability really means and how it relates to (and directly controls) our social systems and economy.
Assoc. Prof. Andrew Jeffs
Re-carpeting the Hauraki Gulf
Last century the Hauraki Gulf had a lovely green carpet of mussels covering a massive area of the seafloor almost the size of Auckland city. The mussels were fished out, destroying the dominant role they played in the ecosystem – filtering seawater clean, providing food and homes for vast numbers of fish and other marine life, and cycling nutrients. Sixty years later the fishing has long-ended but the mussel carpet has still not recovered. Come and hear how community volunteers and scientists are now working together to attempt to re-carpet the Gulf with mussels and restore the ecosystem of the Hauraki Gulf.
Prof. Simon Thrush
Defining ecosystem services and their non-monetary, inherent value
We all know we benefit from our wonderful coastline, but how do we all make the most of it? Often what is really important are the processes that go on behind the scenes, and this is equally true in nature. Knowing how something works helps us to appreciate and value it and ecosystem service thinking is a useful tool to link nature and human values. I will argue that there are many valid ways we should think about valuing nature and consider the nature of our values.
Dr. Margaret Stanley
Urban Ecology: Where is it and what’s its value?
There is a global trend toward urbanisation, and New Zealand is no different, with more than 85% of people living in urban areas. While urban areas are often considered of low biological value, this is far from true. Recent research shows a huge amount of biodiversity living within our cities. Furthermore, studies show that people’s physical and mental health is linked to nature, meaning maintaining urban biodiversity is important for both us, and the ecosystems in which we live. Come along to hear Dr. Margaret Stanley discuss the biodiversity living here in our city and how we ensure its future survival.
Dr. Cate Macinnis-Ng
Native forest ecology and the future of our forest ecosystems under a changing climate
New Zealand’s native forests are iconic and unique. Around half of our native plants are found nowhere else in the world. Our forests are an important part of our cultural and ecological heritage and they are especially important for the ecosystem services they provide. For instance, kauri forests are amongst the most carbon dense forests in the world. Our forests are also a vital part of the water cycle and a valuable resource for recreational activities and tourism. Under a changing climate, carbon and water cycling processes will change. In this talk, Cate will talk about the threats of climate change to native forests with a focus on her research on the ecological consequences of drought in forest systems.
Prof. Gillian Lewis
Do we really love our coasts? Auckland beaches and their water quality rating
Beaches – we love them. They represent an escape from the city on our very doorstep. But living near the beach threatens them with pollution from our wastes and our storm-water. Each beach has a mix of challenges. The solutions, like curing the common cold, are complex. This talk will tease out a few strands.
Assoc. Prof. Niki Harre
A values-based approach to sustainability
At its core a sustainable world is about keeping what we most deeply value in play. Do we share common values that can be the foundation for a sustainable world? Come along to find out what recent research in psychology has to say.