Background. The global threat posed by Invasive Alien Species (IAS) is greater than ever before and it is becoming more evident that no country is immune from the immense, insidious and often irreversible economic, environmental and social impacts they present. These include numerous and growing numbers of pests, diseases and weeds that threaten valuable productive and natural ecosystems.
As international trade, tourism and transportation networks continue to expand, the International Congress on Biological Invasions (ICBI) will provide a forum to explore, share and develop responses to the global challenges and threats these IAS present to biodiversity, ecological safety and food safety systems in many ecosystems.
Conference theme and focus of ICBI 2021. Innovation. Collaboration. Partnership. The focus is deliberately broad covering invasive species issues across terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and animal (vertebrate, invertebrate), plant and weed biodiversity/bioprotection, pre-border, at-border and post-border biosecurity.
The theme for ICBI 2021 has a particular emphasis on partnering and collaborating with communities. The congress will provide a platform for the exchange of new research and tracking of technical innovation among participants from different backgrounds and countries. Additionally, it will also address cutting-edge research topics such as big data, genomics and climate change. Previously the main overarching goal of the ICBI was to address the challenges of the migration and spread of alien invasive species (IAS) by enabling strategic and synergistic international cooperation.
Aotearoa New Zealand is especially vulnerable to IAS. Its economy relies heavily on primary production and its geographic isolation over time has given rise to unique flora and fauna and a high degree of endemism. Defending the country from IAS has been a top priority for Aotearoa New Zealand’s productive sector for many years and is a major concern to everyone in the country. New Zealand has world-leading research programmes in border biosecurity science, integrated pest management, offshore and onshore island predator eradication, and innovative partnerships with Māori.
Te Ngāi Tūāhuriri. Ngāi Tahu, or Kāi Tahu is the principal Māori iwi (tribe) of the southern region of New Zealand. Its takiwā (tribal area) is the largest in New Zealand, and extends over much of the South Island. Te Ngāi Tūāhuriri, centred at Tuahiwi just north of Christchurch, is the local rūnanga (or Māori assembly). Māori have strong connections to Aotearoa New Zealand's environment, with valuable inter-generational views and belief systems that can underpin decision-making, governance and stewardship.
Otautahi Christchurch. Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island of New Zealand bordering the Pacific Ocean and gateway to Kā Tiritiri o te Moana or the Southern Alps. Famous inhabitants have included: Kate Sheppard – the force behind New Zealand being the first country in the world to give women the vote in 1893; Sir Ernest Rutherford - the Nobel Laureate and ‘father of nuclear physics’; Charles Upham – the only soldier to receive two Victoria Crosses on active service and Sir Karl Popper – one of the 20th century's most influential philosophers of science. Christchurch is also known for its sporting prowess, including hosting arguably the most successful rugby union club team in the world.
Please feel free to contact David Teulon (Chair of the Local Advisory Committee) if you have any further questions.