Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Farmers Should Be Responsible For Conservation

Farmers should be responsible for looking after native plants and animals on their land

April 23, 2013

A University of Canterbury (UC) conservation biology expert says New Zealand farmers should be responsible for looking after native bush on their land.

UC forestry professor David Norton says farmers are best placed to look after conservation on private land because of the significant amount of land area involved (two-thirds of New Zealand) and the fact that the land tenure is largely freehold.

``We need to find a new approach and this matches with what the Department of Conservation Director General has been saying,’’ Professor Norton says.

``If native biodiversity is to be sustained on agricultural land, a new approach is required because the present one is not working in many instances.

``Without a new approach, the biodiversity train wreck that lies ahead could exceed even our worst fears. We need trust and respect between farmers, conservation interests, scientists and officials as the basis for a strong partnership.

``We need a new kind of rural advisor trained in ecological and agricultural science whose role would be to provide biodiversity information, management and planning advice to farmers, and to help them apply for funding.

``We need to encourage conservation advocates, government agencies, ecologists and farmers to work together in developing novel answers and solutions to farmland biodiversity problems.

``Farmers are in the best position to manage significant native biodiversity assets on their land. Farmers are not afraid to be innovative. Society will applaud new initiatives that achieve their intended objectives, including novel solutions that might raise eyebrows in traditional farming and conservation circles.

``Critics on both sides of the fence will need to permit new approaches to be trialled and evaluated for a reasonable period of time, years rather than months,’’ Professor Norton says.

Conservation interests needed to recognise that most farmers want to do the right thing and protect native biodiversity, subject to time, money, feasibility and the likelihood of success.

``Rural ecologists would help farmers sustain the most significant natural assets on their farms, but would also work with farmers in better understanding their matrix management and its implications for biodiversity.

``These ecologists would be best located in existing local management structures such as district councils and thus be close to the farmers they are working with.’’

Professor Norton has just released a book on the issue, Nature and farming: Sustaining native biodiversity in agricultural landscapes, co-authored with Professor Nick Reid of the University of New England, New South Wales.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Asylum: Dunne Accepts Hundreds Of Postcards On Refugee Categories

Minister Peter Dunne today accepted over 800 postcards calling for convention refugees to have the same entitlements as quota refugees... The campaign has been run with ActionStation together with LUSH Cosmetics, with postcards being signed in stores around New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Reshuffle: PM Announces Changes To Ministerial Portfolios

Prime Minister Bill English today announced the appointment of Gerry Brownlee as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nathan Guy as Minister of Civil Defence, Nikki Kaye as Minister of Education and Mark Mitchell as Minister of Defence. More>>

ALSO:

Q+A Transcript: CTU Call For 'National Standards' On Wages

‘If you look at countries who do better than us, who pay wages better, who have more competitive industries, more successful economies, they have systems where there are national standards.’ More>>

ALSO:

Energy: Greens Launch Plan For Cheaper And Cleaner Electricity

$112 million for winter warm-up payments to help low-income households cover their power bills • setting a goal for 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030 (in average hydrological conditions) • an investigation into the electricity wholesale market. More>>

ALSO:

Health Workers Respond: People's Mental Health Report Released

The People's Mental Health Review reinforces a recent YesWeCare.nz survey of 6,000 health workers, which found nine in 10 believe they don't have the staff or resources to deliver the care Kiwis need when they need it. More>>

ALSO:

More Mental Health:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news