Cafe Scientifique 22nd February

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Coastal culture: How we relate to coastal areas and their management

NZAssociation for Environmental Education (NZAEE) Waikato are hosting the third in a series of Green cafe events on Tuesday 22 Feb 7.30pm at Cafe Francais (the old BBC – on Victoria St, Hamilton just north of London St).
Come at 6.30pm for a meal (cafe prices between $12 and $20) or come for the talks and a wine or coffee at 7.30pm.

As Seaweek 2011 approaches (Feb 26 – March 6, see http://www.seaweek.org.nz/), it is timely to consider our relationship to our extensive coastal areas.
We have a great line up of speakers, each of whom will speak for ten mins to give their perspectives and then questions and discussion to follow.

Professor Chris Battershill, University of Waikato

Chris will address the topic Reef to Royalty: Why discovery of new drugs and other chemicals from the sea is dependant on conservation of biodiversity in its natural context.
New Zealand played a significant part in the successful development of a new breast cancer active drug derived from a sponge, that was licensed in the US, Japan and Europe just before Christmas. Furthermore, we have arguably contributed to the highest proportion of anti-tumour drug leads based on marine natural products currently in the US National Cancer Institute’s clinical program. This is due in good part to the high endemic biodiversity of our coasts. Given the rapid decline of biodiversity from around our coasts and harbours due to sedimentation and marine invasions, there is an urgent need to protect remaining diversity in its natural context; that is, in a natural dynamic ecosystem regime of effective size. Argument for networks of suitably sized marine reserves and reduction of adverse coastal pressures is strengthened by the fact that our livelihoods and those of next generations can be improved by biochemical discoveries yet to be made, so long as the biodiversity exists from which to make these discoveries.

For further reading:

Newman DJ, Cragg GM, Battershill CN (2009) Therapeutic agents from the sea: biodiversity, chemo-evolutionary insight and advances to the end of Darwin’s 200th year. Diving Hyperbaric Medicine 39 (4) 215-224.

Battershill C.N., Bavington C., Chahal, S., Jaspars, M., Littlechild J., and Spragg, A. (2008) Contributions of marine bioscience to industrial biotechnology. Roundtable Discussion. Industrial Biotechnology 3 (4):304-313.

Battershill C, Jaspars M, Long P. (2005) Marine Biodiscovery: new drugs from the ocean depths. Biologist 52 (2): 107-114

 Graeme Silver, Environment Waikato

Graeme will address the topic Development of Aquaculture in our coastal region: Who is driving it? Recent changes in the role of regional councils has led Environment Waikato to evolve from a mainly regulatory function to a broader consideration of promotion of the economic, social and environmental well-being of the Waikato region. As part of this move, the council is considering a strategy for development of aquaculture. Already present around the Coromandel Peninsula, aquaculture poses questions for us about the capacity of our marine environments to support increased marine farming activity, as well as positive aspects of the economic gains and employment opportunities that can be accrued.

For further reading:
Environment Waikato website www.ew.govt.nz

 Fred Lichtwark, Whaingaroa Harbour Care

Fred will address the topic How local communities can a say about their coastal areas. Fred has for several years spearheaded a community group, Whaingaroa Harbour Care, which is dedicated to improving the environmental quality of Whaingaroa/Raglan Harbour. Through committed volunteers raising native plants from locally-sourced seed, large scale riparian planting in areas around the harbour has significantly reduced run-off into the harbour. Fred will talk about how this project has helped community members get involved with their coastal regions and enhanced a local coastal area.

For further reading:

Whaingaroa Harbour Care website http://www.harbourcare.co.nz/

 



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