Director for Bioprotection Aotearoa, Professor Amanda Black was interviewed recently by Nature. Amanda discusses how Māori deeply care for the environment and biodiversity of Aotearoa New Zealand, as this is how Māori define themselves and is culturally important.
“Different Māori tribes are kaitiaki, or guardians, of taonga, or treasured species. Conservation-biology- and biodiversity-oriented projects in New Zealand involve Māori. Respect for Indigenous peoples is integrated into scientific practices in fieldwork and sample handling and when using data to benchmark computational tools. Those tasks are part of conservation genomics, in which methods such as sequencing and sequence analysis are used to study the genomes of people, plants, animals and microbes.”
Amanda says it was an enjoyable experience chatting with the writer, “A journal like Nature is starting to recognise the value and experience of indigenous researchers.” A mission for Nature, is to ensure that the results of science are rapidly disseminated to the public throughout the world, in a fashion that conveys their significance for knowledge, culture and daily life.