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Species without Borders: Science, Politics, Economics and Human Factors

UCD Science

Wednesday, 29 October 2014 at 17:30

Species without Borders: Science, Politics, Economics...

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Species without Borders
"Species without Borders" is part of UCD Science in Society's Public Event Series
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Event Details

Key Words  

Science | Politics | Wildlife Conservation | International Negotiations |  International Treaties | Environment | Economic Factors | Human Factors | Atlantic Salmon Management | NASCO | 


17.30 pm    Registration

17.40 pm    Introducton

Professor Ken Whelan will provide some background to the Buckland Foundation  and the Buckland Professorships. He will also outline some of NASCO’s recent work on researching why such a significant proportion of Atlantic salmon are dying at sea. His brief talk will include clips from a soon to be launched film: Atlantic Salmon Lost at Sea.

18.00 pm    Buckland Foundation Lecture

"Species without Borders: Science, Politics, Economics and Human Factors" by Malcolm Windsor, OBE, former Secretary of NASCO

18.45 pm   Panel-led Discussion

The Buckland Lecture will be followed by a panel led discussion on the role and function of international wildlife conservation and management bodies – do they work? ….are they effective? ….  if not why not? …how can they be improved?   Professor Frank Convery, UCD Earth Institute and Chief Economist with the Environmental Defense Fund in New York,  will chair both the Buckland Lecture and this important debate.  Panel  members include:

Panel includes:

Frank Convery – Chair (Chief Economist, Environmental Defense Fund, New York and UCD )

Ken Whelan – (UCD and AST)

Eamon Ryan – (Leader of the Green Party)

Éanna Ni Lamhna – (RTE, Tree Council of Ireland and An Taisce)

Liam Lysaght – (Director National Biodiversity Data Centre)

Ronan Long – (Prof of Law and the Marine - Jean Monnet Chair European Law, NUIG)

Ciaran O’Keeffe – (Principal Officer - National Parks and Wildlife Service / NPWS,  Science & Biodiversity)

About "Species without Borders"

Managing species without borders, like migratory fish, is today mostly done by means of international treaties or agreements. These treaties inevitably involve nations with different perspectives on the resource and different degrees of dependence on them.  Negotiations in these international fora usually start out with the science and the advice that the scientists offer. But then the process ascends, or descends, into a complex mixture of politics (both international and domestic), marine and freshwater environments and socio-economic factors. Into this mix will be added the, (sometimes valuable sometimes not), influence of pressure groups e.g. NGO’s, environmentalists, fishing boat owners and fish farmers. Human factors will also play a major role, the powers of persuasion of the heads of delegations, their familiarity with the subject and their passion for it and, of course, the instructions that they left home with. A complex brew!

How does it work, what are its strengths and its weaknesses? This talk will focus on the Atlantic salmon which occurs in all North Atlantic countries, it is an iconic species that is held in high public regard because of its vast migrations and its amazing ability to cross trackless oceans and return to exactly where it was born to reproduce. These international journeys do however mean that the salmon can travel through many jurisdictions. Clearly a species like this can only be conserved and managed by international cooperation at Government level using the best scientific advice.  The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea was not able to resolve issues like this on sharing marine resources. Subsequently, the species got its own Treaty in 1984, the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO) with its HQ in Edinburgh.

It is a case history of international cooperation on one valued species. How did it work, did it succeed,  what went right, what went wrong and what is the outcome today after 30 years of the Treaty in operation? This lecture will present a very short introduction to the natural history of the salmon. We will then discuss how the conservation aims actually worked, how the interplay of science, politics, social and economic factors and negotiating skills played out. We will conclude with the situation today and the new threats to the species.  

About the Key Speaker

Malcolm Windsor has dedicated almost thirty years to setting up and then running NASCO, an International Treaty Organization which exists to conserve the North Atlantic salmon, most certainly a species without borders.  He first worked in the chocolate industry but then at the University of Bristol and at the University of California (UCLA) he worked as a physical chemist on intermolecular forces. He returned to the UK and switched to fisheries food research for some years before moving to scientific policy work by joining the Chief Scientist’s Group in London, (in what is now DEFRA). There his task was to advise on what fisheries and marine environmental research should be commissioned by the UK government at its own institutes and at Research Councils and Universities. He was Secretary of NASCO for almost thirty years and was awarded the OBE for this work. He has recently carried out a review of the outcomes of EU- New Zealand cooperation on research and innovation. 

Organisers & Partners

This event is brought to you by UCD Science in Society in partnership with The Buckland Foundation, the Atlantic Salmon Trust and NASCO. It is supported by: The UCD Earth Institute, Inland Fisheries Ireland, The Royal Irish Academy, The Royal Dublin Society, and the Martin Ryan Institute (NUI Galway).

Do you have questions about Species without Borders: Science, Politics, Economics and Human Factors? Contact UCD Science

When & Where

University College Dublin
UCD O'Brien Centre for Science - East
Dublin 4

Wednesday, 29 October 2014 at 17:30

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