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St Helena Conference Day 1

St Helena’s first Conference underway

The St Helena Conference: Diverse Island Environments launched on Sunday 28 January at Mantis St Helena. Speakers, environmentalists, fisherman and more gathered in Jamestown to celebrate the island’s first ever conference.

Day 1: People and Economics

After welcome speeches from HE Governor, Lisa Phillips, Tara Pelembe (South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute), Helena Bennett (St Helena Tourism) and Dr Alistair Dove (Georgia Aquarium), the conference kicked off with keynote speaker Professor Daniel Yon of York University, who enlightened attendees with his talk on ‘St Helena as a ‘Laboratory of modernity: Mary Ann George and the making of racial selves and racialized Others in 19th Century St Helena’.

The day followed with:

‘Tourists marching in, Saints flying out? The social and economic impact of air access’ from Dr Daniel van MiddelKoop and Dr Maarten Hogenstijn of Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.

‘The model Island’ from keynote speaker Professor Stephen Royle of Queens University Belfast.

‘Transnational Villagers: Perspectives of home’ from keynote speaker Dr Cilla McDaniel of University of East Anglia.

‘Responses to Economic Shocks on Small, Remote Islands: Implications for the St Helena Economic Shock of 2016’ from Kirsty Joshua of Enterprise St Helena.

‘Balance between preservation and progress’ from Jeremy Harris of St Helena National Trust.

Day 2: Marine and Fisheries

Those interested in the island’s marine and fishing sector were welcomed back and treated to an enlightening talk with keynote speaker Elizabeth Clingham of the St Helena Fisheries Corporation who spoke about ‘St Helena Fisheries’.

St Helena Conference Day 2 panel

The day followed with:

‘St Helena one-by-one fishery’ from Adam Baske and Julie Thomas of International Pole and Line Foundation.

‘The whale sharks of St Helena in a global context’ from keynote speaker Dr Alistair Dove of Georgia Aquarium.

‘Science in support of sustainable fisheries’ from Professor Martin Collins of Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences.

‘Marine Research on St Helena’ from Annalea Beard of St Helena Environment and Natural Resources Directorate.

‘Showcasing Environmental Research on Ascension Island’ video presentation from Natasha Timm of Ascension Island Government.

Day 3: Renewables and Terrestrial Environment

The final conference day of the week began with Dani Biagorri of South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute who spoke about ‘Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Territories of European Overseas (BEST)’.

The day followed with:

‘Renewables on St Helena’ from Barry Hubbard of Connect Saint Helena.

‘Lost and Found on St Helena: Environmental monitoring and mitigation of the airport project’ from Annina Hayes and Bryony Walmsley of Basil Read and Kirsten Pritchard of the Environment and Natural Resources Directorate.

St Helena Conference Day 3 Annina Hayes

‘Emerging Saint Science and Scientists’ from Steve Coates who was accompanied by Prince Andrew School students.

‘The carbon sequestration potential of Commidendrum robustum Roxb. (DC.) within the Millennium Forest restoration site, St Helena Island’ from Shayla Ellick of Environment and Natural Resources Directorate.

Field Trips

Speakers were whisked away to Diana’s Peak, the highest point on the island reaching 823m above sea level, and on marine tours around the island’s coast on the lookout for seabirds, dolphins and whale sharks.

Tara Pelembe said:

“The conference has really brought together researchers and research from around the world and on island to share their thinking and findings through a platform that enables great discussion in an amazing setting.  SAERI is very pleased to have been a part of the event.”

The conference continues again next week with:

Terrestrial Flora and Fauna

Marine Environment and Environmental Economics

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