We are an active group of conservation scientists and practitioners that form the Oceania section of the Society for Conservation Biology.
The Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) is an international professional organisation dedicated to promoting the scientific study of the phenomena that affect the maintenance, loss, and restoration of biological diversity. The Society’s membership comprises a wide range of people interested in the conservation and study of biological diversity: resource managers, educators, government and private conservation workers, and students make up the more than 5,000 members world-wide.
The SCB Oceania (SCBO) section represents Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands, and has been functioning with an elected independent board since 2005. Amongst other activities, SCBO holds tremendously successful regional conservation conferences, recently in Darwin, Australia (2012), Suva, Fiji (2014) and Brisbane, Australia (2016). Our next conference will be in Wellington (New Zealand) in 2018. In addition, we continue to support and grow our regional journal Pacific Conservation Biology. SCBO now has six local Chapters in Brisbane, Sydney, Wellington, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Hawaii.
SCB Global Mission Statement:
The Society of Conservation Biology advances the science and practice of conserving the Earth’s biological diversity.
We promote effective conservation in Oceania, underpinned by science. We achieve our vision by:
- Promoting, performing, and synthesising conservation science;
- Collaborating with governments, managers, conservation organisations, and communities;
- Improving the capacity of local communities to engage in conservation; and
- Influencing policy and management of biological diversity and ecosystems with conservation science and practice.
The SCB and its members share the following common values:
- A commitment to sustainability, recognising its importance for the long-term viability of human societies and environments.
- The value of biodiversity – including ecological complexity – and evolutionary processes necessary to support all species including our own.
- Human-caused extinctions in Oceania must decrease, particularly those caused directly or indirectly by ecosystem loss or degradation, overharvesting, climate change, invasive species, pollution, and disease.
- Maintaining and restoring biodiversity is the responsibility of all people and their governments.
- Improving the scientific knowledge base and building capacity of people in different communities and countries is critical to influencing decision-making.
- The sciences, especially conservation sciences, perform a vital role in promoting understanding of the natural world and how human societies and actions can both positively and negatively affect it.
- Policy and management decisions that affect biodiversity should be based on scientific evidence.
In service to our mission, vision, and values, we focus on these five goals:
- Conservation Science: Scientific research and knowledge is essential for informing policy, management, and education. Conservation science and related activities of our members – as well as others working in this area – support conservation action.
- Conservation Management: The effectiveness and transparency of conservation management (often termed adaptive management) is maximised. There is considerable opportunity to work with conservation managers, communities, and stakeholders to integrate science for effective management through the articulation and measurement of clear goals.
- Policy: Conservation and development policies significantly affect the long-term viability of ecosystems and their dependent organisms and processes. Science and its information are fundamental for evidence based policies produced by government and other organisations. Dissemination of policy-relevant conservation information, including responses to government and community initiatives that may positively or negatively benefit the environment are a focus for our engagement.
- Education: Understanding of our ecosystems and their threats is critical to ensuring their long-term viability. People need to know how they work, how much we depend on them, and what threatens them. This is best undertaken through education programmes that build capacity and support communities.
- Increased Capacity: The SCB can increase its effectiveness by operating as a coordinated and coherent group that provides essential information relevant to our four major conservation programme goals. We find ways to increase our impact and role through communication mechanisms and through coordinated action by our members. Our member expertise is expanded across a broad range of conservation areas to promote, support, and undertake conservation in our region. This is done by building our funding base and providing useful science and information, both of which help improve conservation outcomes.