The event is intended as “an opportunity to propose the key elements for success in valuing, managing, maintaining and strengthening our protected areas.”
It seeks to “identify ambitious goals, and pathways for their implementation, that span the land, freshwater, marine and Antarctic environments for which we are kaitiaki.&rdquo
Minister Sage said she wanted to make the environment central to how we measured success in New Zealand, and grow a wider and deeper appreciation of ecosystem services.
She also wanted to manage biodiversity in New Zealand better, which involved developing new toxins and tools to control predators and to manage protected lands to protect bio-diversity.
She said there was a need to look at biodiversity on public and private land, as well as building better relationships with treaty partners.
Department of Conservation (DOC) Director General, Lou Sanson, spoke about DOC’s vision to ensure New Zealand is the greatest living space on earth and its desire to work with others to increase the value of conservation to New Zealand.
The symposium features a range of speakers, including Lincoln University DesignLab head and event organiser Associate Professor Mick Abbott, as well as workshops.
Mr Sanson also presented Lincoln students studying the new Parks and Recreation major, part of a suite of new additional majors introduced this year, with DOC scholarships. He said DOC had traditionally employed Lincoln graduates in the field and the scholarships would reinforce that.
The majors are giving students more choice in their degrees as they can include environmental and other majors in more traditional degrees, such as commerce.