• Workshop 1: A hands-on introduction to applied social network analysis for community-based conservation

    Contacts: Ken Vance-Borland, Conservation Planning Institute
    Judy Soule, CPI; Ged Acton, Wildlife Conservation Society
    Days: 1 full day (7 July 2014)
    Number of participants: 10-25

    The theory and methods of social network analysis have been under development since the 1930s, and in the past decade have begun to be applied to socio-ecological systems. Using relational data and diagrams (maps), SNA can identify properties of social networks such as which actors are in the center of ‘the action’ and which are peripheral; groups of actors who interact more with one another than with those outside their group; and which actor groups interact and which ones don’t (i.e., social boundaries or divides). Network ‘weaving’ processes to bridge divides and increase innovation and success have also been developed. Interest in the potential for SNA to contribute to conservation has emerged in recent years, as evidenced by increasing numbers of SNA papers in conservation journals and conferences, including ICCB 2013. Yet few conservation scientists, practitioners, or students are familiar with SNA and how it might be applied in conservation. This course will provide both an overview of and hands-on learning in applied SNA for conservation. Participants will learn about the history, theory, and methods of SNA, and will practice: (1) Social network questionnaire development, (2) Network data collection, (3) Network mapping with the free visone software, (4) Social network analysis with visone and R, (5) Applied conservation SNA: methods for network weaving, (6) How to plan and execute an applied conservation social network project.

    Workshop 2: Strategic Adaptive Management CANCELLED

    Contacts: Richard Kingsford, University of New South Wales; Gilad Bino, University of New South Wales
    Days: 1 full day (7 July 2014)
    Number of participants: 20

    The main outcome is to familiarise attendees with the steps of Strategic Adaptive Management, trialling the approach for case studies that attendees are familiar with. It will begin with explaining the logic and rationale of implementing a Strategic Adaptive Management approach and demonstrate two successful applications in South Africa and Australia. Participants will then be encouraged to form small working groups to develop similar frameworks for case studies which they are familiar with. Working groups will develop visions, considering the stakeholders and overall context, including the key attributes for a socio-ecological system. Each working group will present their case study and hold an open discussion on established outcomes which will then form the basis for developing an objectives hierarchy and conceptual models for each case study.

    Workshop 3: Beyond Grants: Impact Investing for Pacific Island Coral Reef Management CANCELLED

    Contacts: Melissa Bos, James Cook University
    Days: half day (afternoon, 8 February)
    Number of participants: 25

    Coral reefs in the Pacific Islands sustain resilient island communities by providing food, income, storm protection, cultural and traditional practices, and other community benefits. Funding for the management of these reefs is limited. Grants are often too small and too short to realize conservation and community outcomes, and the over-reliance on a few philanthropic sources puts conservation programs at risk. Many non-profit organizations are pursuing ‘sustainable funding’ opportunities to move beyond grant-funded programs, but it is often difficult to translate these concepts to small island realities. This practical, hands-on workshop will allow for two-way information sharing. Target participants are coral reef managers (site level to national level) and non-profit staff who support coral reef management. Participants will receive useful information and training on marine conservation financial planning, and in exchange, they will provide ideas and discussion about the opportunities and challenges in applying impact investing to the Pacific Island context. The training half of the workshop will be based on an evolved version of a training given by Melissa Bos and Manuel Mejia entitled “A Business Approach to Financing Marine Protected Area Management” at the “Our Sea of Islands” forum for Pacific Island Marine Protected Area managers in Honolulu, Hawaii, 2007. The participants will be the first to hear about preliminary results from a survey of impact investors that is currently underway. The participants will then be asked to contribute to a facilitated group discussion on if and how impact investing could work in their context. Their input will be used to push the frontiers of marine conservation finance research.

    Workshop 4: Systematic conservation planning: fundamentals for Pacific Island practitioners CANCELLED

    Contacts: Rebecca Weeks, James Cook University; Vanessa Adams, Charles Darwin University
    Days: 1 full day (8 July 2014)
    Number of participants: 20

    The Pacific Islands have experienced rapid growth in the number of locally-managed conservation areas. Yet, despite the many benefits of local and community-led actions, without coordination, these can fail to form functional conservation networks that achieve regional-scale objectives. Systematic conservation planning is the process of locating, configuring, implementing and maintaining areas that are managed to promote the persistence of biodiversity and other natural values. Conservation planning can also inform strategic expansion of local actions to maximise their cumulative effectiveness in terms of regional-scale goals, including those related to ecosystem resilience and food security. Although conservation planning has had considerable influence on conservation action around the world, systematic approaches have not been widely applied in the Pacific Islands. One important reason for this is a lack of awareness of what conservation planning is and why it is needed by those responsible for coastal resource management decision-making. Another reason is the bias in development and application of conservation planning tools towards objectives and governance contexts of developed countries, and a corresponding failure of many proponents of systematic methods to understand the planning context in regions such as Oceania. This workshop attempts to address these two important issues.

    Workshop 5: Bridging the research implementation gap

    Contacts: Rebecca Jarvis; AUT University; Steph Borrelle, AUT University
    Days: half day (morning, 8 July 2014)
    Number of participants: 36

    One of the main challenges in conservation lies in our inability to translate management objectives into effective action on the ground. This is often due to the inadequate consideration of the social, cultural and institutional dynamics that influence ecological systems and the likelihood of successful conservation outcomes. Successful conservation outcomes are often limited by (1) the research implementation gap, and (2) scale mismatch. The workshop is designed to explore conservation issues concerning multiple priorities, the research implementation gap, and scale mismatch in Oceania through two workshop activities adapted from Frog Design’s Collective Action Toolkit (2013). The workshop will provide the opportunity for conservation researchers and practitioners to identify where they may sit within the research implementation gap, how their own motivations and priorities align or diverge from others, and how their own work relates to the scale of conservation issues.

    Workshop 6: Risk assessment of ecosystems using IUCN categories and criteria CANCELLED

    Contacts: Tracey Regan, University of Melbourne; David Keith, Nick Murray, Richard Kingsford, Rob Holdaway
    Days: 1 full day (8 July 2014)
    Number of participants: 20

    As the world’s biodiversity continues to be eroded, simple yet robust and scientifically rigorous risk assessment tools are required for reporting trends and to guide decisions about conservation, development and investment. To address this need, IUCN has developed categories and criteria for a Red List of Ecosystems (RLE) for assessing risks of biodiversity loss above the species level. The aim of this workshop is to raise awareness of IUCN’s Red List of Ecosystems initiative and to engage potential partners in the development of future projects. The IUCN’s Red List of Ecosystems will provide an overview of the status of the world’s biodiversity, complementing its global Red List of Threatened Species. In addition, the IUCN is also encouraging and assisting partners to develop national and other sub-global Red Lists to support conservation reporting and planning at finer scales. While engaged in an agenda for further development and research, the IUCN is applying the Red List of Ecosystems criteria to a variety of ecosystems from around the world, including island and marine ecosystems from Oceania. The workshop will discuss the theoretical basis for the criteria and the trade-offs involved in designing the criteria. Application of the criteria will be demonstrated with examples from Oceania, followed by hands-on applications for participants in break-out groups supported by RLE specialists. Participants will be invited to bring data for ecosystems with which they are familiar for this purpose.

    Workshop 7: Working forward to implement more effective sea cucumber fisheries management in Pacific Islands

    Contacts: Rocky Kaku and Jayven Ham, Vanuatu Fisheries Department
    Days: half day (afternoon, 8 July 2014)
    Number of participants: 20

    In Vanuatu, the Fisheries Department has been implementing a new total allowable catch (TAC) management system for sea cucumbers based on stock assessments. The objectives of the workshop are to share the experience from Vanuatu of managing cucumber stocks among interested Pacific Islanders and to initiate a technical working group on sea cucumber management in Pacific Islands. The workshop will include presentations by Pacific Islanders involved in sea cucumber fisheries management and assessment, as well as practical data analysis using the established online BDMER database ( with practical examples of data collected from Vanuatu.

    Workshop 8: Scientific Writers and Presenters Workshop: Two Essential Skills to becoming a Good Scientist

    Contact: Sangeeta Mangubhai, Wildlife Conservation Society; Stacy Jupiter, Wildlife Conservation Society; Rebecca Weeks, James Cook University
    Days: 1 full day (7th July 2014)
    Number of participants: 20

    The workshop will provide a 2-day introduction to scientific writing and presentation skills to young aspiring Pacific Island scientists. The workshop is aimed at postgraduate students at the University of the South Pacific (USP), or recent graduates who have not had the opportunity to share or disseminate the results of their thesis work with their peers. This workshop is appropriate for theme of the conference, given its focus on science and conservation in the Oceania, and will inspire and help build the capacity of the next generation of scientists in the region. Day 1 will focus on teaching participants the key steps to preparing, writing and submitting a scientific paper for publication in an international journal. It is expected that the workshop will improve skills and strengthen the confidence of young Pacific Island scientists to both write up their work for journal publication, and present their work to their peers in both national and international fora. Day 2 will focus on presentation skills and will give participants the chance to practice their presentations in front of their peers and to the trainers, so that they learn to both give and receive constructive feedback. It is anticipated that this will help improve presentations, and increase their confidence at presenting at international conferences.