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Newsfeed from Society for Conservation Biology Board– May 2014


Dear Fellow Members
Hopefully you have got this far in your reading. As the new President of SCB (Oceania), I am keen to communicate effectively to our members from the Board as well as give you opportunities to communicate with us. To this end, I will be providing infrequent succinct updates on the board activities in the form below. These are aimed at building our membership and its involvement in effective conservation and to let you know what we are up to. Please feel free to contact us (anyone on the board) with any suggestions, comments, or questions you have about what we are up to our anything you would like us to consider pursuing.
All the best
Richard Kingsford (SCBO President)

1.     The Board

We are pleased to welcome four new members to the SCB Oceania Board (Rebecca Spindler, Emily Weeks, Rebecca Weeks and Carina Wyborn). They join the current board which includes me (Richard Kingsford), Vanessa Adams, Roz Anderson-Lederer, Oliver Manlik, Kerry Charles, Gary Howling and Emily Weiser. We also have Megan Barnes, Wendy Jackson, Stacy Jupiter, Carolyn Lundquist and James Watson as Adjunct members. If you want to read more, please visit the profiles http://www.conbio.org/groups/sections/oceania/board


2.     Conferences

We are looking forward to our biennial regional conference in Suva Fiji Regional in July 9-11th with workshops beforehand. http://www.scbo2014.usp.ac.fj/ . This is part of our core business. Please come if you are not already doing so. The next conference will be in 2016. So start planning.

3.     Strategic Plan We have uploaded our Strategic Plan (2013-2018) on the website, focusing on our key goals of conservation science, conservation management, policy, education and increasing our capacity. We will review these periodically. http://www.conbio.org/images/content_groups/SCB_Oceania_StrategicPlan_2013_2018.pdf


4.     Committees and Workplans

We have established four committees (Science and Education – co-chaired by Vanessa Adams and Rebecca Weeks, Conservation Management – chaired by Emily Weeks and I chair the Policy and Increased capacity committees) to further our goals with measureable activities which we hope to update you on throughout the year. Apart from our efforts towards making the Fiji conference successful, we are also planning to develop a series of Scientific Statements in relation to major conservation issues. These will be launched later in the year. The first will be focused on Marine Protection Areas and the second will be on Conservation of Sharks.


5.     Membership input

We are particularly interested in feedback from you about the society and our direction. To further this, we will be sending out a survey monkey questionnaire in the coming weeks, hoping that you may be able to help us by responding.


6.     Scientific information and publishing

We are also interested in knowing how you collect scientific information for your papers and also some feedback on our specific journals – Pacific Conservation Biology and Conservation Biology. We will send out a survey monkey questionnaire in the coming months, hoping that you may be able to help us by responding. 


7.     Chapters

We are really keen to work with chapters in our region and also encourage development of other chapters. We currently have three chapters doing great work in our region based in Brisbane, Wellington and Sydney. We would love to see more chapters established in other parts of our region. So if you feel motivated or have some people who are interested, we now have some experienced groups in chaptering. Just ask us and we can help.

                       a.     Brisbane Chapter. http://scbbrisbaneuq.wordpress.com.

In addition to existing SCB members who have continued their conservation efforts, we now have 20 new members actively participating. With so many new members we have reformed the board and several committees aimed at initiating sustained fundraising and conservation efforts. Upcoming conservation projects include restoring mangrove forests on the Brisbane River, and coordinating efforts to influence environmental policy in Queensland.


                      b.     Sydney Chapter http://sydneyscb.org or https://www.facebook.com/sydneyscb.

The Sydney Chapter of SCB currently has 27 active members and about twice as many people on our mailing list. As a young Chapter, we are focusing efforts on raising funds for long-term projects such as habitat regeneration and nest box building for a declining colony of Little Penguins, but have already started running a seminar series called Conservation Conversations, a policy discussion group and organising weekend excursions with our members. We encourage SCB members in the region to join our Chapter. We are also actively seeking local conservation projects, events and relevant groups to partner with in the region, so please contact us.


                      c.     Wellington chapter http://www.vuwscb.com/index.html and https://www.facebook.com/groups/124003460956885/

The Wellington chapter is focusing on some core conservation projects, increasing membership and participation and funding and attending the Fiji conference. They have two core conservation projects. There is the Kumutoto Ecological Restoration focusing on a stream running through a neglected forest. The chapter has planted 1000 trees, donated to them, and is now focusing on increasing the biodiversity by planting vascular epiphytic plants. More endemic bird species seem to be arriving, including the kaka, wood pigeion and kereru. For further info, please see our Kumutoto facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/579743585389175/