It’s been a privilege to both attend the conference and to compile a summation here.
It started because I’d been asked by one of the Alpine Club organisers Bob McKerrow to augment his gathering of images, and I needed somewhere to distribute about a 100 of same, so my own environmental web site seemed a good place to start what has turned out to be, for the moment at least, a-one-stop-shop.
Thanks to Ross Cullen for making the text of the programme available to me, John Cocks and Dave Bamford for checking/editing and supplying yet more content such as the summations by Don Bogie and Hugh Logan, and lastly Carla Braun-Elwert of Atara Films for sharing the podcasts
This last selection of photos below were not taken at the conference, but I gathered them from my own library to illustrate some of the topics discussed. Enjoy!
Donald Lousley | Southern Light
DOC staff preparing human waste solids for vacuuming into 700Kg steel containers to be airlifted out ~ 4 ton of!
DOC staff loading human waste solids for vacuuming into 700Kg steel containers to be airlifted out ~ 4 ton of!
Local school camp preparing to pitch tents nearby
Preparing to assist DOC staff with toilet cleaning 2015
Increasing geological events triggered by the likes of glacier recession and climate change maybe hard to predict
One of 4 vehicles severely damaged by an unprecedented storm event in Nov 2015 in the West Matukituki Valley. This one written off
Climate change means strong winds from unexpected directions that many trees are not prepared for, and so they’re identified and made safe in “front country” areas.
If climate change brings more freak storms then the cost of maintaining access will rise
The NZ alpine parrot the kea is an endangered species. It’s important we do more scientific research on them and their changing habitat at fast as possible!
Control of invasive plant species is already a big ask of local bodies and DOC. More proactive control is needed before other species come further south accompanying warmer average temperatures
We’re probably not only holding our own in easily accessed areas in the New Zealand bush and mountains, but actually gaining the upper hand in predator control on behalf of our native birds. But not so in the “deeper” country which occupies the higher percentage of our lands – new tools are constantly being developed, and we sorely need them sooner rather than later.
The increase in visitor numbers, especially tourists from other more benign lands sadly brings a higher number of search and rescues for Land SAR, the NZ Police and DOC [to a lesser degree] to respond to. The good news though is that they’re probably in many areas not on such an increase that aligns with the numbers, and that with more people carrying personal locator beacons and technologies such as night vision for pilots, rescues are now very “slick” and professional operations. While searches continue to be very expensive still, we have to question as a nation whether or not we continue to “foot” the bill for these and rescues, and the follow-up medical care?
130 attendees took part in the Sustainable Summits Conference, organized by the New Zealand Alpine Club (NZAC) in the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park from 7-11 August.
Hugh Logan, former Director General of the New Zealand Department of Conservation, articulated the spirit of the conference in his Summing Up-What Can We Do? presentation.”The conference is the third in a series where people passionate about sustainable management of mountain areas have gathered to discuss social, environmental and economic issues affecting mountain areas from the perspective of sustainability.
”The conference comprised discussions from a number of emanate speakers and focused its attention on many core themes
Visitors are running out of time to see New Zealand’s dwindling southern glaciers, which are becoming a safety hazard.The central Southern Alps has lost a quarter of its ice in recent decades, and stands to lose another 50 to 60 per cent.It meant its spectacular glaciers were shrinking at an unprecedented rate, some having lost several kilometres of ice this century.It was a topic discussed at the Sustainable Summits conference at Mt Cook this week.