IPCC meeting in Christchurch on sustainable management of land and water

Regardless of views on climate change it is important that New Zealand and the world do as much as possible to work towards sustainable land and water use. Experts from around the world will meet in Christchurch this week to work on a report that will advise governments on this.

Stuff: Global experts gather in Christchurch to tackle climate change

Some of the world’s brightest minds are gathering in Christchurch this week to discuss how best to tackle the ever-pressing issue of climate change.

The city will host 120 scientists from 59 countries as they examine how to manage some of the thorniest problems caused by our rapidly-changing environment.

As members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – a global coalition of scientists and academics – they will spend the next five days drafting a report that will inform and influence how governments deal with the problem in the decades ahead.

The report has a specific focus, to advise policy-makers on sustainable management of land and water, how to ensure millions of vulnerable people around the world have enough food, cutting greenhouse gases and how to address the growing problem of desertification.

Despite having a global focus, some of the key issues are close to the hearts of ordinary New Zealanders, such as how we can reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and deal with the impacts of climate change at the same time as producing more and high-quality food for a growing population.

The report should be very useful to the New Zealand government, and I’m sure Shaw will be keen to use it to support his climate change aims as Minister.

Associate Professor Bronwyn Hayward, a political scientist at the University of Canterbury and former IPCC lead author who is helping host the meeting, said: “It is a wonderful opportunity for the city to host 120 world specialists on land use and climate change – issues that are central for New Zealand’s future.

“And it’s a great chance to showcase some of the science and social science, alongside community activities, that are taking place already here in the wider region.”

It’s also good that Christchurch is hosting conferences again.

Sustainability – avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.

In ecology, sustainability (from sustain and ability) is the property of biological systems to remain diverse and productive indefinitely. Long-lived and healthy wetlands and forests are examples of sustainable biological systems. In more general terms, sustainability is the endurance of systems and processes.

Humans have changed ecosystems enormously, and continue to do so. Things change naturally as well, life on Earth has evolved for a billion years.

It is critical that modern science and knowledge are used to limit irreversible damage.

2 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  March 26, 2018

    We will judge the meeting on the basis of its press releases and whether they are more science or politics. In previous years the science was unrecognisable by the time the politicians got it to the media.

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