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Tui Shortland

Tui Shortland (Māori)
Tui Shortland (Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Raukawa ki te tonga) hails from Aotearoa (New Zealand). Tui has worked with Indigenous authorities, leadership, and land trusts in environmental management for the past 16 years. She assists ecobusiness development and helping indigenous organisations to provide pioneering services in traditional livelihoods, cultural impact assessments and cultural environmental monitoring. Tui is the founder of Awatea Organics, specializing in cultivating Indigenous food sovereignty from her ancestral lands in Whangarei where she manages the family farm to reconnect people to land, providing healthy food to Maori families and promoting indigenous sustainable livelihoods around food.  At Awatea they mentor new farmers, using the not only to produce nutritious heritage food and medicine but also as a training ground for workshops and community open days, and developing and promoting innovations in indigenous organic food, medicine and plant production to improve biodiversity, build climate resilience and community health.

Tui has been involved extensively in indigenous diplomacy, with the United Nations in regards to Indigenous biological diversity and climate change, serving as a Pacific regional representative. Since 2012, Tui has worked with the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity, a collective of representatives from Indigenous governments, Indigenous NGOs, and Indigenous scholars and activists that organize around the Convention on Biological Diversity to help coordinate Indigenous strategies and participation at these meetings to recognize and respect Indigenous rights. As the director of Te Kopu Pacific Indigenous and Local Knowledge Centre of Distinction, Tui focuses on traditional knowledge and customary use of biodiversity, cultural health indicators, Rongoā (traditional Māori medicine), and Māori cultural values of the environment and traditional ecological knowledge. Some of her career highlights include turning an iwi Resource Management Unit around to be self-sustaining; working with the Karen people of Thailand to develop a monitoring framework and map their territories based on their medicines and hunting practices; and most recently, developing a successful process to assist scientists and Indigenous Peoples to work together in benefit sharing of biological resources.