Registration is now open for OESF 2019 to be held at the Rydges Latimer Hotel from Monday 2nd to Friday 6th September 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Register here.

Download the OESF 2019 Advanced Programme Overview (as of 14 August 2019)

Tuesday 3rd September

Forum remarks

Host: Richard Yao 

Scion & OESF 2019 Co-chair

richard_yaoDr Yao’s work at Scion focuses on the economic assessment of ecosystem services (e.g. timber, carbon, recreation, improved water quality) and natural resource management. Richard has applied his key areas of expertise in quantitative economic analysis – econometrics, forestry economics and ecological economics – to New Zealand environmental and land use management. This research area includes accounting for market (provisioning) and non-market (regulating, cultural) values in policy and investment decision making. Richard has published in international journals and participated in key national discussions on how to account for ecosystem services values in policy. Richard currently leads a six-year project on spatial economic modelling of forest ecosystem services in New Zealand. Richard completed a PhD in Environmental Economics and a MSc in Agricultural Economics.

Speaker: Ministry for the Environment  

Speaker: Simone Maynard 

Initiator of Oceania ACES / IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management & OESF Coordinator

Me1 - Copy

Simone is an independent multidisciplinary researcher and practitioner known for her ability to think across scales and complex systems. She has delivered on consultancies globally where she works with stakeholders to develop methods for identifying, measuring and valuing ecosystem services; and to integrate these methods and outcomes of assessments into their practices. Simone is on the Steering Committee for US ACES; the Executive Committee of the ESP; and on the Editorial Board of the journal Ecosystem Services. Simone has contributed scientifically and facilitated during numerous UN initiatives (e.g. IPBES, UNEP GEO). In 2017 she initiated/coordinated the first ACES Oceania Ecosystem Services Forum – and continues to drive the OESF around Oceania countries as it occurs every 2 years. Simone has received many scholarships and awards, published in books and journals and is regularly invited to speak globally. She is an Adjunct Research Fellow at Griffith University (Australia) where she completed her Undergraduate and First Class Honours degrees. She also holds a Diploma of Community NRM; and a PhD (Australian National University) on methods (process, information and tools) for ecosystem services assessments across multiple scales.

Plenary 1:

Indigenous Knowledge and Regenerative Systems


SpeakerKingi Biddle 

Te Arawa

Kingi Biddle-WaiKingi Biddle is the Chairperson of Ngati Whakaue iwi. Kingi is a Rotorua-based Maori broadcaster renowned for his oratory skills. In 2013 he was placed second in the world in the International Toastmasters competition. Kingi is a son, a husband, a father, a grandfather, brother, friend and someone who believes in the goodness and the kindness of the human spirit. Kingi was raised alongside his elders and was taught the art of Story-Telling. Kingi uses this knowledge to powerfully communicate messages. He has been a Radio Announcer, a Television Programme Presenter and a Professional Master of Ceremonies for many events within New Zealand. He will present about Nga Tuapapa, Te Arawa cultural values framework.

SpeakerTe Rangikaheke Kiripatea and Jasmin Jackson 

Food Hub Project lead and Deputy Chair, Kai Rotorua

Kai Rotorua: Te Rangikaheke Kiripatea and Jasmin Jackson. Photo by Ben Fraser (NZ ME).
Photo by Ben Fraser.

Te Rangikaheke (Ngāti Ūenukukōpako) and Jasmin will talk about their work on local, sustainable food systems, community food education, reducing food waste, building a food hub and food sovereignty.

Kai Rotorua is nonprofit, social enterprise that is working to ‘reconnect whānau (families) to their food and Papatūānuku’ (Mother Earth). It is dedicated to the growing and appreciation of food crops, especially those with cultural significance like kumara (sweet potato). Its vision is to “create a resilient, well-nourished and well-connected community”. Kai Rotorua began in 2016 when it established 68 backyard gardens across Rotorua, all within a week.

Speaker: Serge Warakar 

Live & Learn Vanuatu & OESF 2019 Pacific Fellow

Photo: ENB

Local knowledge and global understanding are the starting points in developing an ethic in environmental and development education. Local ownership of environmental and development education programs, open participation and equality remain the foundation of our Live & Learn. Live & Learn works with communities throughout Asia and the Pacific to design, implement and learn from community-based development projects. The projects are specific to each community and cover a number of thematic program areas. These include: water, sanitation and hygiene, sustainable use of biodiversity, environmental governance, natural resource-based conflict management and peace building, understanding climate change, sustainable energy options, community-based waste reduction and management, human rights and community disaster prevention and preparedness.

Serge’s family business ‘Ser-Thiac’ was awarded the United Nations’ Equator Prize this year out of 847 nominations. This is the first indigenous-owned certified forest carbon project in the Pacific Islands. Ser-Thiac has reduced approximately 15,000 tons of CO2 emissions to date and offers a powerful new model for carbon credits based on indigenous land rights, stewardship, and climate resilience.

Plenary 2:

A Voice for Nature in Ecosystem Management

Moderator: Marcus Matawhero Lloyd

Ngā Ariki Kaiputahi 


Marcus Matawhero Lloyd is a speaker, activist, IT strategist and member of Ngā Ariki Kaiputahi iwi. In 2017, Marcus walked for four months and 1,600km across the North Island of New Zealand to highlight water purity, quality and concerns. Prior, he rebuilt an ancient hapū pā site that had once been inhabited by his ancestors Ngai Tamatea on whanau (family) land in Whatatutu where he grew up. He took on the restoration to understand and preserve the history of his ancestors. He did it also to bring peace to his conflicted farming, forestry and Māori community and to educate about the history of Nga Ariki Kaiputahi iwi, through story-telling. In 2016 he led a global campaign to support indigenous rights at Standing Rock, North Dakota and established the social media page “Haka with Standing Rock” which received 8 million plus views. He has 17 years of executive IT management experience in iwi organisations. Marcus was instrumental in getting 32 Marae on the East Coast connected to broadband. He is CEO First Tribe Technologies Ltd since 2015. He holds a BA in Religious Studies, Philosophy, Technology, Communications (Massey University).

Speaker: Dr Liz Macpherson 

Senior Lecturer, College of Business and Law, University of Canterbury

Elizabeth Macpherson

Dr Elizabeth Macpherson is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Canterbury Law School where she teaches resource management law, indigenous rights, human rights, comparative law and legal ethics. Her research interests are in comparative natural resources law and indigenous rights in Australasia and Latin America. Her forthcoming book, Indigenous Water Rights in Law and Regulation: Lessons from Comparative Experience, will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2019.

Elizabeth is the Editor of the Canterbury Law Review and a member of the United Nations Knowledge Network on Harmony with Nature and World Commission for Environmental Law, an Advisory Board member for the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organisation, and a representative on the Banks Peninsula Water Zone Committee. Elizabeth has practised as an indigenous rights and natural resources lawyer in New Zealand, Australia and Chile, including working on Treaty of Waitangi claims and settlement, and as Principal Legal Adviser and policy executive in Aboriginal affairs at the Victorian State Government.

SpeakerDr Erin O’Donnell 

Senior Fellow, Law School, University of Melbourne & Birrarung Council

Erin ODonnellDr Erin O’Donnell is a water law and policy specialist. She is recognized internationally for her research into the groundbreaking new field of legal rights for rivers, and the challenges and opportunities these new rights create for protecting the multiple social, cultural and natural values of rivers. Her work is informed by comparative analysis across Australia, New Zealand, the USA, India, Colombia, and Chile, and Erin’s book, Legal Rights for Rivers: Competition, Collaboration, and Water Governance, is available now. Erin is a research fellow at the Melbourne Law School, and in 2018, Erin was appointed to the inaugural Birrarung Council, the voice of the Yarra River.

SpeakerCheri van Schravendijk-Goodman 

Environmental consultant

CherivanSchravendijk-GoodmanKo Aotea to waka
Ko Ruapehu te maunga
Ko Whanganui te Awa

Ko Te Atihaunui a Pāpārangi, Ngāti Apa, me Ngāti Rangi ‘Nga iwi ki te taha ki tōku māmā
Ko Au ko te Awa, Ko te Awa, Ko Au
Nō reira, ngā mihinui ki a koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou me tātou katoa

My name is Cheri van Schravendijk-Goodman and I am an uri (descendant of Whanganui). My academic background is in environmental (plant) science and policy, with an emphasis on cultural interactions with our freshwater systems (including wetlands), and our ngāhere (forests). But my ‘real’ expertise lies in drying dishes, walking the dogs (or being walked), and acting as full-time ‘taxi-driver’ for my 3 teenagers and 2 ‘nearly teenagers’. Currently, I’m studying landscape design as another means to explore how we can bring both nature and the stories of our indigenous cultural landscapes into the private garden.

Speaker: Joeli Veitayanaki 

University of South Pacific, OESF 2019 Regional Committee & Pacific Fellow

JoeliVJoeli Veitayaki is an Associate Professor at the School of Marine Studies. He is also Director for the International Ocean Institute Pacific Islands based at the University of South Pacific (USP) and is Co-Chair of the Korea-South Pacific Ocean Forum. He is a trained teacher who did his Bachelor of Arts in Education and Masters of Arts studies at USP. He obtained his PhD in Environment Management and Development from the National Centre of Development Studies (NCDS) at the Australian National University. Apart from teaching, Joeli conducts research in different parts of Fiji and the Pacific Island Countries with partners from USP and abroad to promote the sustainable use and management of marine resources. He has written articles and books on the importance of subsistence and artisanal fisheries, indigenous knowledge and traditional resources management systems, culture, capacity building, climate change, disaster risk reduction, community based resource management, sustainable development and Law of the Sea, maritime transport and regional cooperation in the Pacific Islands. He also has worked as a trainer and researcher in most of the Pacific Island Countries as well as in Australia, Canada, Malta, USA, South Africa, Portugal, Japan, France, Norway, Korea, Scotland and the Caribbean.


Wednesday 4th September

Plenary 3:

Sustaining Business and Ecosystem Services

Moderator: Carl Obst 

Institute for the Development of Environmental-Economic Accounting (IDEEA Group)

carlobst.pngCarl is a Director at the Institute for Development of Environmental-Economic Accounting – IDEEA Group. Carl was the lead author and editor of the United Nation’s System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) – the international standard for government work on accounting for natural capital.

His current work involves projects on environmental-economic accounting and sustainability measurement within the United Nations system, the Natural Capital Coalition and various companies and governments. Carl is a leading player in closing the gap between government and corporate approaches to natural capital accounting.

Speaker: Katherine Short

Terra Moana

katherineshort.pngTerra Moana is a leading New Zealand-based sustainability consultancy specialising in primary industries, especially fisheries and marine environments. Katherine Short understands how critical it is that those reliant on natural resources for their livelihoods can, and are supported to adopt more sustainable practices and she approaches this with passion, honesty and creativity. She is a thought leader in marine fisheries sustainability. A nature lover, Katherine worked with WWF (17 yrs) globally to grow healthy and well-managed fisheries. Returning home in 2011 she completed a Masters in Conservation Science at Imperial College London on natural capital and ecosystem services. 

Speaker: Dana Muir

Associate Director Natural Capital, Bank of New Zealand

Dana_muirDana has a rural New Zealand background, raised on dry stock and dairy farms in south Taranaki. Post completing her Agricultural commerce degree, majoring in international Agribusiness at Massey University, Dana went on to spend several years working within the Asian, Australian and Eurasian marketplace, looking at ways to improve the perception and value add proposition of the New Zealand primary sector, promoting investment in New Zealand agricultural IP and trading New Zealand primary sector products. Dana went on to join the Bank of New Zealand, supporting their agribusiness customers and their ability to increase the value of their primary sector raw materials. Dana now leads the BNZ Natural Capital team, focused on supporting New Zealand producers as they work to understand and plan for the changing environmental and Future of Agribusiness landscapes currently impacting their agribusiness’.

Speaker: Philip Browning


PhilipBrowningSmartOysters is a complete farm management system for the oyster and wider aquaculture industries. Philip originally trained as an environmental scientist specialising in hydrogeology. He subsequently spent 25 years in a corporate career as a strategist and trusted advisor at board and CEO level; including advising on large social infrastructure and ICT programs. He also guided one of the largest and more significant corporate governance and strategy bodies of work that established one of Australia’s largest not for profit organisations. For Philip, SmartOysters is the manifestation of 20 years of strategic thinking and the experiences of advising on strategic change and digital disruption. SmartOysters is a platform that totally transforms an entire industry. It embodies lessons of data ownership and governance learnt from but not implemented during times in the health and wider human services sectors.

Speaker: Faalualuo Floris Niu

Ms Sunshine Farms (Samoa)


Ms Faalualuo Floris Niu from Tuanai village on Upolu, Samoa is a Cacao Grower/agribusiness entrepreneur for Ms Sunshine Farms since 2014. She is also founder and managing director of Ms Sunshine Consulting since 2012, assisting other Pacific islands in producing value-added products and creating a culture of consuming our own food, reducing imports and establishing food security concepts. She currently exports organic and single origin cacao beans to Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland, for the organic health food market and to produce high-end chocolate and cacao products. Founder of and former president of #SWAG Samoa Women’s Association of Growers, she is currently Council Advisor to the organization. Ms Niu has a rich and varied background in corporate recruitment, sales & marketing, communications, education and translation. She holds a BA in English Literature and Language (The University of Auckland) and a post grad diploma in Professional Writing, Editing, Journalism from The Australian College of Journalism. Ms Niu speaks 5 languages and have lived in 6 different countries and has extensive travel experience.


Thursday 5th September

Plenary 4:

Our Future: Youth and climate change (a youth led plenary)

Co-moderator: Rose Bayldon

Generation Zero

RoseBayldonRose is a student at the University of Canterbury, studying a BSc in geography and environmental sciences. Rose has been always been passionate about the environment, everything from tramping to admiring the sunset on a warm summer day.

She tries to get involved where ever possible in environmental initiatives and climate-change awareness, and is currently a member of Generation Zero, an organisation with a tagline “for a future that’s not shit”. Generation Zero gets involved with local and national politics, advocating for youth engagement in policy, and working toward a net zero greenhouse gas emission. Recently she has been involved with organising the youth-led Climate Challenge Conference here in Ōtautahi, bringing together a wide range of speakers for young people to learn from and develop ideas with.

Youth empowerment, engagement and awareness are all key factors in moving forward on the issue of climate change, so Rose is stoked to be involved with the forum

Co-moderator: Junior Novera 

University of Queensland


Junior is currently doing PhD research on mammals of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea. He studies the conservation status of endemic mammals and the traditional practices and beliefs of the local communities intending to incorporate these datasets for community conservation on the island. Junior’s interests include integrated wildlife management, evolutionary ecology, New Guinea mammals, ornithology, climate change, conservation, bioculture, ecosystem services, livelihoods and the sustainable use of natural resources. He is also keen on investigating how local communities in PNG within the vicinity of major extractive industries are coping with their daily livelihood activities and the growing socio-economic shifts, which these developments engender as far as consumption, and trade of wildlife (mammals and birds) is concern. He believes the outcomes of these investigations could assist governments, corporations, non-government organizations, local communities and other stakeholders in designing sound management regimes that are sustainable and culturally acceptable by local people in both PNG and the Asia-Pacific region. Junior holds a Master of Science in Conservation Science (Lancaster University) and BSc Honours (University of Papua New Guinea).

Speaker: Mr Mason Smith

IUCN Regional Director for Oceania

Mason_img_8749Mason is a graduate of the University of Canberra and holds a Masters in Management in Defence Studies (MMDS) and a post graduate certificate in Diplomacy from the University of Fiji. He is also a fellow of the Asia Pacific Centre for Security Studies. He has served in various capacities in the private sector, the Government, including a stint as Fiji’s acting head of Mission at the United Nations in New York and as Permanent Secretary for Agriculture. He has also served on various boards and is currently engaged in a number of community service projects. He is also actively involved with raising awareness and funds to treat prostate cancer in Fiji. His hobbies include keeping fit, playing sports, gardening, fishing and reading. He is married and has three daughters and two sons.

Speaker: Jimah Ruland-Umata 

Rotorua Pacific Islands Development Charitable Trust


My name is Jimah Ruland-Umata and I am a Year 13 Student at Rotorua Boys High School.  I have attended my school since year 9 and I have gained Top Pasifika Academic Student each year which has helped me gain the position of Pasifika Prefect for 2019.  My Father is of Cook Island and  Tahitian descent. My grandmother Kenna Umata sat on the Committee of the Rotorua Pacific Islands Community Trust, whilst my grandfather (Atuian Warrior) was the president of the Cook Islands Society for many years.  My Mother is of Samoan, German and Māori ancestry. My great grandfather Emil Ruland was instrumental in helping to keep our Pasifika people together, voting, forming sports clubs with other Pacific cultures i.e Tokelau Community Sports – Tutolu Tournaments etc.  I would like to continue the great work my tipuna started to do with our people here in Rotorua.  It would be my absolute honour to represent our Pasifika youth at the Oceania Eco-systems Conference in Christchurch.

Meitaki maata and Fa’afetai lava

Speaker: TBC

Speaker: TBC

Our Way Forward

Moderator: Sandra Velarde 

Scion, Te Pūnaha Matatini & OESF 2019 Co-chair

Sandra-VelardeDr Sandra Velarde is an Associate Research Leader at Scion, where she manages the environmental economics and governance research portfolios. She is also Associate investigator at Te Pūnaha Matatini Centre of Research Excellence. Her research interests focus on the practice of transdisciplinary science, distilling lessons for policy design on afforestation and indigenous participation, adaptive governance systems for enhanced decision-making, urban green spaces, ecosystem services and biofuels. Born and raised in Peru, Sandra’s curious mind has taken her to work on sustainability issues in Italy, Kenya, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand, working for the the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), the Centre of International Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the Australian National University (ANU). Sandra uses visual tools for sense-making and enjoys graphic recording, water colours, marketing her family business, and advocating for women in science leadership and kindness in science. Sandra is a member of The Convergence Steering Committee of Homeward Bound, a ground-breaking, global leadership initiative for women in science. She holds a PhD from the Australian National University, MSc Ecological Economics from the University of Edinburgh and BSc Forest Sciences from Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina, Peru.

Speaker: Salome Taufa

Pacific Island Forum Secretariat, OESF 2019 Regional Committee & Pacific Fellow

Salome-Taufa-School-of-Marine Studies-headshot

Speaker: Suzie Greenghalgh 

Manaaki Whenua & OESF 2019 Local Committee 

SuzieGreenghalghDr Suzie Greenhalgh is the Portfolio Leader for the Society, Culture and Policy research portfolio at Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research in New Zealand. Her research involves the analysis, design and implementation of environmental and agricultural policy, the development of market-based instruments for ecosystem services (particularly water quality, biodiversity and greenhouse gases), and developing frameworks to incorporate ecosystem services into decision-making in New Zealand and Pacific Island. She has used ecosystem service approaches to underpin participatory processes around land use change and catchment biodiversity planning in New Zealand, and sustainable financing in the Pacific. She has also worked with business to use ecosystem services concepts to inform business decisions and with central government and regional councils in using ecosystem services and natural capital in their decision processes. Prior to joining Landcare Research Suzie worked at the World Resources Institute, an environmental policy think-tank in Washington DC. There she was part of the GHG Protocol Initiative team developing project level GHG accounting protocols as well as working in a number of other areas including implementation of nutrient trading programmes and reverse auctions; economic valuation of coral reefs in the Caribbean; US agricultural policy as it relates to water quality, biofuels and climate change. Suzie holds a PhD in resource economics from The Ohio State University in the United States; Masters degree in Rural Science (soils) from the University of New England, Australia and economic from The Ohio State University and Bachelors degrees in Agricultural Science from the University of Queensland, Australia.

This page is under construction and will be updated as we finalise the program.

Register now for the Oceania Ecosystem Services Forum