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Biodiversity, topical theme for RNZIH conference

8 October 2003

Biodiversity is a particularly timely theme for this month’s Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture Conference in Christchurch, according to Christchurch City Council ’s Parks and Waterways Unit.

“ It comes at a time when the Council is working hard at putting its biodiversity strategies into place and will bring together some of the top world authorities on the subject,” Parks and Waterways manager Anne Greenup said.

“ Following central government’s adoption of the NZ Biodiversity Strategy in February 2002, Christchurch and Waitakere are the two cities which have made significant progress in drafting and implementing their own local strategies,” she said.

As well as addressing the important role of cities in maintaining biodiversity, the conference will cover the need to focus on sustainable development; triple bottom line accounting; and the function of green environments in maintaining community health and cohesion.

The conference, titled ‘Greening the City: Bringing Biodiversity Back into the Urban Environment’, will be launched on the evening of Tuesday 21 October, with Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Morgan Williams delivering a keynote address, ‘The Ecologies of Liveability – Why Cities Need Biodiversity’.

The following evening, the Canterbury Branch of the RNZIH will host the 2003 Banks Memorial Lecture - a free lecture open to the public. Colin Meurk of Landcare Research will speak on ‘Cities are cultural and ecological keys to biodiversity futures.’ The lecture will take place at the Christchurch Girls' High School Auditorium, 10 Matai St, starting at 7.30pm.

Other key speakers at the conference will include Professor Chris Baines, one of the UK’s leading environmental campaigners; Associate Professor Mark McDonnell from the Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology; and Mason Tan, landscape architect and director of Mace Studio, Singapore.

For a full list of speakers and the conference programme visit the website
Registrations can be made to attend the entire conference (21-24 October) or daily sessions at the Chateau on the Park, Deans Ave.

The conference is being sponsored by Christchurch City Council, Environment Canterbury, Pyne Gould Guiness and Landcare Research.

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