Kia ora, Talofa lava, Ni sa bula, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Gude/Hai, Kia Orana, Fakafeiloaki, Malo e lelei, Halo, Fakatalofa atu and warm Pacific greetings. 

The 2023 NUWAO International Symposium on Nature-based Urban Climate Adaptation for Wellbeing, Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand, 20-21 April 2023 is now accepting abstracts (4 November 2022 deadline).

We invite researchers, design professionals, practitioners, university students, and the general public to participate in envisioning how to develop innovative nature-based urban design solutions, particularly those rooted in Indigenous knowledge, that support climate change adaptation and individual and community wellbeing. We hope to be able to provide on-line as well as in-person participation. 

This symposium will include current research, case study examples, and practice related to nature-based solutions in Oceania.

To our knowledge this is the first international meeting specifically focused on design-led nature-based solutions to climate adaptation, wellbeing and resilience.  

This symposium will particularly highlight Nature-based solutions work and practice where Indigenous knowledge is the driver or at the heart of projects. 

Image by Irina Macovei, Master of Architecture (professional), Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington

Geographic scope

The geographic scope for the symposium is principally focused on urban areas of Oceania.

This map defines our understanding of ‘Oceania’ as the combined Pacific Island nations of Melanesia, Polynesia, and Micronesia. Specifically, sites in the following countries: Aotearoa New Zealand, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hawaii, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Rapanui, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna. We expect, however, that work and practice from other regions will be drawn on where this enriches the context for work in our region. 

Regions of Oceania. Source: Adapted from Australian National University (CC License).
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Symposium Aims 

1. Provide a platform for Oceania-wide discussion, talanoa and korero on nature-based knowledge and research on climate change adaptation.

2. Highlight nature-based research and practice where Indigenous knowledge, wellbeing and resilience are at the centre.

3. Explore design-focused adaptation responses to climate change, including showcasing NUWAO design competition winners.

4. Evaluate and extend existing understandings of the above issues and approaches by practitioners, students and others, to help lay a platform for future work and collaborations.

5. Progress towards agreed best practice processes of NbS climate adaptation with Indigenous wellbeing at the centre.

Symposium Themes

  • Opportunities and issues for an Indigenous knowledge-driven focus on climate change adaptation and resilience in Oceania
  • Oceania urban wellbeing and resilience frameworks
  • Implementing just, enabling, participatory and co-designed climate change adaptations
  • Design-led focus on climate change adaptation and resilience in Oceania -what could this look like?
  • Elements or examples for a design toolkit on nature-led climate change adaptation and resilience for Oceania urban areas

Call for papers, posters, presentations

The call for abstracts and summaries is now open. Please submit your abstracts here.

Formats include:

-Oral papers (academic or narrative)

-Poster papers


-Photo essays

Please note that due to time constraints, our symposium committee will only be able to select a modest number of submissions for oral (in-person or online) presentation. We will be less constrained for poster papers or other formats.

Abstract submission deadline for all formats: 4 November 2022

Draft programme and responding to submitting authors: Mid December 2022

Registrations open: Early 2023 

For more information or for questions, please email us at

Climate Change principles

We are very conscious of the carbon-emission implications of an in-person international gathering during our climate crisis, especially one centred on a region as vulnerable to climate impacts as ours. We think it will be necessary for our Talanoa-style symposium to be primarily face-to-face, but we are determined to minimise our carbon emissions, especially those associated with air travel, and offset what can’t be avoided. 

Please factor offset costs into your travel budgets, and watch this space.

Let us know now if you are planning to attend and/or if you like to help with sponsorship of the event.

We are looking into travel support options for Pacific peoples. You may want to apply for travel support through the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade ‘Collaborate Pacific‘ fund if you are a Pacific Island citizen (by February 2023 at the latest).

We look forward to welcoming you to Wellington, Aotearoa!

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