DARWIN, AUSTRALIA, September 19, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ -- The Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) will be hosting the 10th World Conference on Ecological Restoration, SER2023, from September 26 – 30, 2023 in Darwin, Australia.
The sold-out event will convene over 1000 participants from more than 80 countries – the largest global gathering of top scientists, practitioners and policy-makers in ecological restoration. Delegates will share new research, debate pressing issues, and explore innovations in ecological restoration practice. The conference theme focuses on celebrating and restoring the relationship between people and nature.
The choice of Darwin to host the event reflects the value of this unique community in the global efforts to restore our critical ecosystems, recognizes the importance of the Larrakia people as the traditional custodians of country throughout the Darwin region, and celebrates their engagement in restoration.
“We are thrilled to be hosting SER2023 in Australia,” said Professor Bruce Clarkson, People, Cities and Nature Programme Leader at the University of Waikato, Chair of SER Australasia and Co-Chair of SER2023. “We have seen first-hand the devastation that can be caused by the triple crises of climate change, biodiversity loss and desertification. But we are also a leader in developing the science and policies that can help mitigate and adapt to these threats. SER2023 offers a unique opportunity to share ideas, open dialogues, and increase awareness about the vital importance of ecological restoration.”
“The community of restoration ecologists, practitioners and influencers joining us at SER2023 is at the forefront of global scientific knowledge,” added Anita Diederichsen, Global Lead Forest Landscape Restoration, WWF and Co-Chair of SER2023. “This global community works tirelessly to repair landscapes, research the most advanced processes, and develop innovative solutions to the degradation of land and ocean ecosystems. And because of their deep knowledge and experience, they also understand that human and ecological wellbeing are absolutely interwoven. This gathering allows us all to increase our capacity for high quality implementation and impact, and contribute to the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.”
The opening plenary session at SER2023 will highlight the importance of Indigenous-led restoration. It will feature Kia Dowell, a Gija woman from the Warmun Community, who’s wide-reaching work empowering indigenous communities includes ensuring the rights of Traditional Owners following mine site closures. She will be joined by Lucy Mulenkei, a Masaai leader from Kenya who is an expert in biodiversity and gender issues, and who served as the first Co-Chair of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration Advisory Board. Kia and Lucy will discuss the importance of meaningful indigenous engagement in all aspects of restoration.
In a high-level plenary panel, business leaders Frank Mars, a fourth-generation member of the Mars family, and Henri Douche, Head of Product and Innovation at SCOR, one of the world’s largest reinsurance agencies, will discuss the business case for ecological restoration. They will be joined by policy advisor Julia Oliva of the Union for Ethical BioTrade and Hanie Moghani, Expert Member and Vice Chair of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). Additional plenary sessions will address community-led restoration and scaling up.
More information on all plenary sessions and speakers is available here.
“Ecological restoration is inherently transformative, helping to rebuild the human connection with nature,” said Bethanie Walder, Executive Director of SER. “Inviting predominantly indigenous speakers to address the plenary sessions reflects a deliberate desire to elevate voices that are too often ignored. By ignoring these voices, we have disregarded vital local and global knowledge about restoring nature and re-establishing reciprocity between humans and the environment.”
Symposia, workshops and other sessions throughout the four-day event will cover diverse themes including urban restoration, designing Australia’s ecosystem restoration targets, mine restoration, seed technology innovation in the context of climate change, and accounting for natural capital. The full conference program can be viewed here.
As a lead partner to the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, SER2023 will also host the annual meeting of the UN Decade Advisory Board, with the UN Decade Flagship Pavilion exploring best practices for repairing nature and enhancing human wellbeing, including the importance of standards in the planning, implementation and monitoring of restoration projects.
To further highlight the wide range of voices and perspectives on ecological restoration, the conference is hosting an international film festival competition, with participation from both amateur and professional film-makers exploring the relationship between people, science, restoration and environment. SER will also be presenting its biennial awards throughout the week to honor outstanding contributions to advancing the field of ecological restoration, recognizing individuals and institutions for their excellence in restoration science, practice, and public engagement.
More information about the conference, please visit SER2023.org.
The Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) advances the science, practice and policy of ecological restoration to sustain biodiversity, improve resilience in a changing climate, and re-establish an ecologically healthy relationship between nature and culture. An international non-profit organization with more than 4,500 members in more than 110 countries, we actively promote participatory, knowledge-based approaches to restoration. Learn more about our work at www.ser.org.