New solutions needed for wildlife conservation
Leading Australian and international conservation researchers will converge in the Blue Mountains next week to discuss new ethical solutions for recovering threatened wildlife around the globe.
Hosted by the University of Technology Sydney’s (UTS) Centre for Compassionate Conservation (CfCC), the 2017 International Compassionate Conservation Conference will host renowned conservation experts from Australia; USA; the UK; New Zealand; South Africa; Sri Lanka, and more.
“At a time when laws and policies towards biodiversity are being watered down, we need to prioritise finding ways to harmoniously coexist with the species we share the planet with,” said Director of the CfCC, Associate Professor Daniel Ramp.
“Our conference speakers aim to inspire new pathways for conservation that treat all individuals and species as equal and to reinvigorate our awe and wonder for all life, regardless of their conservation status.”
Dr Arian Wallach, UTS Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellow, is researching how apex predators, like dingoes, enable native and introduced species to coexist, and will speak on the conservation of introduced species worldwide.
“Incorporating a commitment to treating individual wildlife with compassion broadens the range of populations, species and ecosystems that we value,” she said. “Sentience, and the ethical response that this capacity demands, does not change when an organism is moved to a new region.”
Dr Finbarr Horgan, Terrestrial Ecologist at the CfCC, will present a framework for human-wildlife health and coexistence in Asia. Drawing on his expertise in sustainable farming systems to conserve biodiversity, Dr Horgan will speak on compassion in Asian agriculture, focusing on rice production landscapes.
“Current practices in food production incur a great cost to biodiversity but this need not be the case,” Dr Horgan said. “This conference will highlight how sustainability and production can be improved through ecological awareness and reduction of the devastating impacts of pesticides.”
UTS Science PhD candidates Andrea Harvey, Erick Lundgren, Esty Yanco, Eamonn Wooster, and Gavin Bonsen will also be presenting their research.
A highlight of the conference is the Plenary talk by Fred Pearce, UK-based science journalist and author of The New Wild: Why Invasive Species Will be Nature's Salvation. Mr Pearce explains that to be an environmentalist in the 21st century means celebrating nature’s wildness and capacity for change.
The conference will be held at Fairmount Resort in the Blue Mountains from 20-24 November. See the full program.