In New Zealand many species are endemic (they are only found here in New Zealand). Some of these species, like kiwi and silver ferns, are iconic of New Zealand. There are numerous others like kauri, kākāpō and kākāriki (parakeet) that are well known, but many, like kākahi (freshwater mussels) and pepeketua (NZ frogs) are unknown to many New Zealanders.
Farmers and private landowners are an extremely important piece of the puzzle in halting biodiversity decline across New Zealand. After all, along with the gorges and water courses of the back country, many remnants that escaped pre-European fires and the bushman’s axe are in their ownership. While the spotlight has recently been put on some detrimental farm environmental practises, many people have been excellent stewards of their land for a long time. The number of QEII National Trust covenants and total hectares protected in Hawke’s Bay are testament to this.
The current and next generations are well aware of how important good environmental stewardship will be in an ever-discerning consumer market. Farm Environmental Plans (FEPs) are one pathway in achieving good environmental stewardship. FEPs outline the land, soil and water resources of a farm. They identify aspects of the farm and its management that pose risks to the environment and lists what needs to be done to minimise those risks. Well planned Farm Environmental Plans can be hugely beneficial not just for waterways but for local biodiversity. Watching native bush remnants regenerate after fencing and having native birds increase or return to the area can be hugely satisfying. Aligning FEPs to help achieve the goals of the Hawke’s Bay Biodiversity Strategy will benefit the entire region.Erosion Control and biodiversity
Erosion impacts on farms. It represents a loss of current and future potential productivity on the farm. This high level of sedimentation also impacts on water quality within the region and the biodiversity (both aquatic and terrestrial) that depends upon it.
The Hawke’s Bay Biodiversity Strategy was launched in March 2016. This takes a regional approach to improve habitats and support native species. This strategy takes responsibility for improving native species habitats and populations in Hawke's Bay. It is also flexible and provides for introduced species, particularly where these give habitat, food and shelter for native species.
The strategy was developed collaboratively with other organisations and interests, and sets out a blueprint, weaving together what each organisation does best, adding a clear vision for how they will work together, to include Māori values and involve the wider community.
The Biodiversity Hawke's Bay Action Plan 2017-2020 is a companion document to the Strategy. It sets out how, by working together, we can begin to implement the ambitious goals of the Strategy. The six top priority actions were established through collaborative workshops.
You can sign up to be a Hawke’s Bay Biodiversity Guardian, a formally constituted group that act as Kaitiaki for the Vision and Goals of the Strategy. The Guardians will oversee the work of the Forum and help connect and advise the many agencies and community-based groups working to implement the Strategy. Anyone can join the Guardians and membership benefits include quarterly newsletters, invitation to forum events and networking opportunities with other like-minded people. Sign up now - Join the Guardians here.
For further information on how Council might be able to assist in protecting Biodiversity in the farm landscape, please contact us on 06 835 9200.
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