Incorporating biocultural relationships into climate change modeling

Date and Time: 
Friday, 12 May, 2017 - 10:45
, Matthew - University of Hawai'i
, Barbara J - Landcare Research Manaaki Whenua
, Priscilla - Landcare Research Manaaki Whenua

The recent 2016 IUCN Congress in Honolulu, Hawaii, highlighted the inextricable linkages between culture and nature, and the threats that indigenous peoples face in a changing world. Climate change is a major threat facing us all, but as yet there is relatively little research on how biocultural systems will be affected by climate change. Here, we have integrated cultural context and harvesting practices with projected future species ranges that be used to develop collaborative management strategies to strengthen biocultural resilience to climate change. We focus on two New Zealand plant species that have high cultural value to the indigenous Maori people - a wetland sedge used for weaving that has a wide distribution, but distinct regional value; and a regionally distributed, but widely valued medicinal plant. These models should improve future biocultural assessments and could be used to help mitigate the effects of climate change on cultures globally.