Thank you for your interest in OESF 2019, held from Monday 2nd to Friday 6th September 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand. 


What is a Town Hall Meeting?

No, it is not a meeting at the Council. But these events are run in a similar way – where leaders in the ES community speak on topics of interest with the broader community (i.e. Forum participants).

These Town Hall Meetings will discuss and encourage feedback on new collaborations, ideas, and opportunities, or they will launch important products or major projects (e.g. books, open access tools).

Each Town Hall Meeting is under the guidance and direction of the Meeting Organiser who moderates a lively discussion. In these informal settings attendees are encouraged to share their voice, take an active role and participate in discussions led by the moderator! Town Hall Meetings run for up to 45 mins.


Download the OESF 2019 Final Programme Overview

Town Hall Meeting 1:

Natural resource management in Port Resolution, Vanuatu: Using Q-method to reveal dominant discourses

20160422_084441In this town hall session, we will describe our work, using Q, on Tanna Island in Vanuatu to reveal perspectives on natural resource management in times of social, economic and environmental change. Q method is a technique for determining predominant discourses established amongst stakeholders in relation to a particular problem domain. Q is carried out in the field by presenting statement cards to survey respondents and asking them to rank them in order of salience, from least important to most important. Respondents’ sorts are then statistically analysed and correlations between the sorts are identified. These correlations can then be described qualitatively. Q uses strategic sampling, in an attempt to elicit broad perspectives, so can, therefore, work with relatively small samples.

Communities on Tanna face a range of chronic threats to their use and management of marine and terrestrial natural resources, exacerbated by climate-change-related risk. Our research is aimed at understanding constraints and enabling factors to support ecosystem-based adaption (EbA) to climate change. Our research revealed three principle discourses likely to be conducive to EbA approaches – they are rooted in traditional resource management practices. However, our findings have important implications for EbA program delivery. Whilst EbA projects that bolster customary management of forests and reefs can undoubtedly provide a buffer to climate change impacts, project design that focuses exclusively on customary practices may unintentionally maintain barriers to gender equity and developing economies.

To demonstrate the utility of the Q method to participants, we will carry out a Q method survey during the session. We will ask participants to rank issue statements either online (laptops and tablets are best) or using a manual Q survey. The statements will ask participants to rank their perception of and affiliation with different categories of ecosystem services in their own communities. At the end of the town hall we will take questions reflecting on our findings and on our research on Tanna. In addition, we will statistically analyse the responses from the session and make some tentative conclusions on the findings – we can then provide more detailed qualitative analysis after the session.

This research is part of the project Eco-Adapt in the Pacific, a five-year multi-disciplinary research project that aims to identify appropriate adaptation interventions in the coastal zone of Pacific island states and territories in the face of a rapidly changing climate and ongoing capital-intensive development.

Time: Wednesday 4th September, 12:45pm

Room: Savoy East

Extra notes: if you would like to participate in the Q method survey, we encourage you to bring a laptop computer or tablet. You may use a smartphone, however, the nature of the survey means it easier to use on a larger screen.

Meeting Organisers: Griffith University, Climate Change Response Program



Town Hall Meeting 2:

New IUCN-WCPA Guidance on choosing tools for assessing ecosystem services in protected areas, KBAs and natural World Heritage sites

This session will present the recently published IUCN-WCPA “Tools for measuring, modelling, and valuing ecosystem services: Guidance for Key Biodiversity Areas, natural World Heritage sites, and protected areas”. The guidance document reviews existing ecosystem services assessment tools, focusing on their application in Key Biodiversity Areas, natural World Heritage sites and protected areas. The report is the result of collaboration between over 20 international experts in the field convened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Protected areas, including natural World Heritage sites, as well as Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs), play a crucial role in securing the long-term delivery of ecosystem services. Identifying and quantifying ecosystem services provided by these sites can help decision-makers and protected area managers justify the importance of conserving them. However, selecting a tool that can be applied in a specific context, and given particular resource constraints, can be challenging and time-consuming for practitioners, as an array of ecosystem services assessment tools have been developed in recent years. The new IUCN guidance helps to identify an appropriate tool through a set of “decision trees”, which are also available online.

Time: Wednesday 4th September

Room: Savoy East

Meeting Organisers: International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

IUCN logo



Town Hall Meeting 3:

New Zealand’s engagement in IPBES

global_assessment_report_draft_cover_0IPBES – the International Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services – is a platform whose role is to provide regular assessments of the status of biodiversity and ecosystem services (BES), and catalyse new developments in BES research. In this THM a panel of scientific and science-policy experts will introduce key elements of the IPBES work programme, and the innovations that the platform is catalysing and delivering to the international ES community to bend the curve of biodiversity decline. These include:

  • Assessments, including the 2019 IPBES Global Assessment, the 2018 Asia-Pacific Regional Assessment, and other recent thematic and methodological assessments.
  • Innovations at the science policy interface from the Scenarios and Models Task Force and the Values Assessment which endeavor to bring the diversity of human relationships with and values for nature into the development of a new global biodiversity scenarios approach.
  • The Capacity Building Task Force’s role in sharing learnings and tools, and building capacity in both BES science and assessments and at the science-policy interface.

The THM Moderator will facilitate lively discussions between participants and the panel, responding to participants questions about IPBES.  The THM will conclude with input from national policy advisors on how IPBES can be used to shape and influence national BES policies, particularly with respect to the post-2020 Biodiversity Framework.

Time: Thursday 5th September 2019

Room: Savoy East

Meeting Organisers: National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), The University of Auckland

NIWA         UOAlogo