October 2020, Christchurch, New Zealand

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Tēnā koutou katoa, greetings everyone!

The Christchurch/ Ōtautahi INTECOL Wetlands Conference Organising Committee is very honoured and excited to host the 11th INTECOL International Wetlands Conference (IWC). We are delighted to invite you to Te Pae, the new Christchurch Convention Centre located by the spring-fed Avon/Ōtākaro River, one of the two iconic rivers that meander through the city and flow into the Avon-Heathcote Estuary/Ihutai. The estuary joined an exclusive list of wetlands making up the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF) network in October 2018.

The rivers and estuary are especially significant to Ngāi Tahu, the local Iwi/Māori tribe. The dramatic changes that have affected and still affect wetlands in New Zealand, have strongly impacted their customary relationship with 'wet lands' and as places for mahinga kai. Mātauranga Māori relates to that historic and present-day traditional knowledge, the systems of knowledge transfer and storage, and the local goals, aspirations and issues from an indigenous perspective.

This inspired us to propose an original theme for the 11th IWC: traditional knowledge and innovative science in wetland research and management. Our idea is to create a programme that will enable the sharing of stories from the five continents and island countries around wetland traditional knowledge and uses. This will help the integration of traditional knowledge in western science and highlight further the importance of the world wetlands for local populations.

Participants at the conference in 2020 will be able to discover and explore a modern city that has evolved around a wetland environment. Christchurch/ Ōtautahi has also retained a considerable historic heritage, and with its numerous cafes, restaurants, and an ever presence of music and the arts, it will seduce everyone as a very vibrant place.

The South Island/Te Wai Pounamu is also a very scenic destination for many travellers from around the world. Of note are the large braided rivers that flow from the Alps across the plains to the Pacific Ocean. Those rivers inspired the design of Te Pae and the logo of the conference. The Committee will offer a wide range of attractive excursions before, during and after the conference, not only in the South Island but also in the North Island and Australia.

We look forward to welcoming you to the 11th Christchurch/ Ōtautahi IWC in October 2020!

Ngā mihi


Philippe Gerbeaux

Shona Myers

David Perenara-O'Connell


Local Organising Committee

Philippe Gerbeaux, Department of Conservation - Conference chair Corinne Bataille, PHD Student, University of Canterbury Jason Butt, National Wetland Trust Tim Davie, Environment Canterbury Deirdre Hart, University of Canterbury Di Lucas, Lucas Associates Shona Myers, Myers Ecology David Perenara-O'Connell, Ngāi Tahu Stefanie Rixecker, Environment Canterbury Amy Whitehead, NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) Charlotte Emery, Conference Innovators Kate Howden, Conference Innovators

Scientific Organising Committee

Tim Davie – Chair, Chief Scientist, ECAN Regional Council, Christchurch Eugene Turner, Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University Deirdre Hart, Senior Lecturer, Coastal science, University of Canterbury Bev Clarkson, Plant Ecologist/Capability Leader, Manaaki Whenua/Landcare Research, National Wetland Trust Yvonne Taura, Researcher Landscape policy and governance, Manaaki Whenua/Landcare Research Chris Tanner, Principal Scientist, Aquatic Pollution, Taihoro Nukurangi/NIWA Brian Sorrell, Associate Professor, Aquatic Biology, Aarhus University Denmark

N.B. These are the core members of the scientific committee, a wider group will be involved in setting the programme and reviewing papers.  

Key conference dates

Call for abstracts opens NOW
Call for abstracts close 28 February 2020
Acceptance of abstracts 30 April 2020
Early bird registrations close 18 June 2020


Charlotte Emery
Event Manager

+64 3 974 1165