Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


DOC marks World Wetlands Day


DOC marks World Wetlands Day

World Wetlands Day (Sunday February 2) provides an opportunity to highlight the important role wetlands play in our environment and to spotlight work being done to protect them.

A wetland is an area of land saturated with water permanently or seasonally. Wetlands include swamps and marshes, lakes and rivers, estuaries and tidal flats, wet grasslands and peat bogs.

Wetlands play a number of roles to keep our environment healthy, principally water purification, flood control and shoreline stability. They are considered the most biologically diverse ecosystem, providing a home to a wide range of plant and animal life.

The importance of wetlands was formally recognised in 1971 when an international Wetland Convention was signed in Ramsar, in Iran. This is the only global environmental treaty covering a particular ecosystem.

World Wetlands Day is held every year, on February 2, to mark the signing of the Wetlands Convention in Ramsar.

New Zealand is one of 168 countries to have signed the Ramsar Convention. The signatories have committed to the conservation and “wise use” of wetlands so they can be sustained economically, socially and environmentally. These countries have designated 2168 wetland sites, covering more than 206 million hectares, as internationally significant.

Six sites in New Zealand, covering more than 55,000 hectares, are included in the list of internationally significant wetlands. New Zealand’s Ramsar sites are:
· Firth of Thames - Hauraki

· Kopuatai Peat Dome - Waikato

· Whangamarino wetland - Waikato

· Manawatu River Estuary - Horowhenua

· Farewell Spit - top of the South Island

· Awarua Waituna Lagoon - Southland

EXAMPLES OF DOC’S WETLAND PROTECTION WORK

The Arawai Kākāriki Wetland Restoration Programme
Co-ordinated by DOC, the Arawai Kākāriki Wetland Restoration Programme, involves work to protect and restore wetlands plus research to gain a better understanding of wetland ecosystems.
The programme, which began in 2007, focuses on three important wetland sites
· Whangamarino wetland in Waikato - a Ramsar site
· Awarua-Waituna in Southland - a Ramsar site
· Ō Tū Wharekai covering the Ashburton Lakes and the upper Rangitata River in mid Canterbury.
DOC is working in partnership with local communities, iwi and other agencies on a broad range of conservation initiatives at these wetlands. This includes:
· wetland mapping to prioritise areas to be restored

· weed control

· fencing - to protect wetlands from farm animals and to reduce sediment and nutrient flow into waterways

· working with regional councils on water quality initiatives

· raising awareness of the importance of wetlands and promoting sustainable land use

· providing recreation facilities so people can enjoy wetlands without harming them


Knowledge gained from the work at the Arawai Kākāriki sites is being applied in managing other wetlands.

DOC and Fonterra partnership
Last year DOC and Fonterra signed a $20 million, 10 year agreement to improve the natural habitats of key waterways around New Zealand. The partnership is focusing initially on five key catchments in significant dairying regions. These are:

· Kaipara Harbour - Northland

· Firth of Thames - Hauraki - a Ramsar site

· Waikato Peat Lakes - Waikato

· Te Waihora-Lake Ellesmere - Canterbury

· Awarua-Waituna - Southland - a Ramsar site

DOC and Fonterra are working together at these sites to make them living examples of how dairy farming and natural New Zealand environments can successfully coexist. The partnership involves DOC working with Fonterra, local communities, iwi and farmers to help clean up waterways and wetlands at the five selected catchment areas. The work will include:

· planting trees alongside streams and rivers to improve water quality

· managing pests and weeds

· making sure that the right habitats are in place around farms to enhance biodiversity and provide homes for native fish and birds.

Wetland Restoration Symposium February 12-14

DOC, Fonterra, Auckland Council, Unitec, Landcare Research, NIWA and Northland Regional Council are sponsoring the 6th National Wetland Restoration Symposium in Auckland from February 12 to 14.

The symposium brings together scientists who specialise in wetlands with managers and owners of wetlands to share knowledge about restoring these sites. This year it as at Unitec’s Mt Albert Campus in Auckland

The symposium will cover a range of topics, including:

· the links between wetlands and climate

· coping with weather extremes when restoring wetlands

· a special focus on urban wetlands and the role of constructed wetlands – those created as part of the construction of storm water and waste treatment plants.

Keynote speakers include New Zealander of the Year 2013, Dame Anne Salmond and Dr Dave Campbell from Waikato University.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Pre-Budget: Computer Emergency Response Team, Assemble!

John Key told the country's first ever Cyber Security Summit in Auckland that the government had earmarked funding set up a national Computer Emergency Response Team to help prevent and act on cyber incidents in partnership with the private sector and other organisations. More>>

ALSO:

Job Cutter Goes: Mark Weldon To Step Down As MediaWorks CEO

“When I joined MediaWorks in August 2014, I had a mandate to lead a significant change programme to bring the business back from receivership into a position where it could once again be a strong competitor in the market, with a sound and sustainable future. It was a big brief, laden with inherent challenges, but I took it in good faith and have dedicated myself fully to the goal since." More>>

ALSO:

Must Sell 20 Petrol Stations: Z Cleared To Buy Caltex Assets

Z Energy is allowed to buy the Caltex and Challenge! petrol station chains but must sell 19 of its retail sites and one truck-stop, the Commerce Commission has ruled in a split decision that acknowledges possible retail price coordination between fuel retailers occurs in some regions. More>>

ALSO:

Huntly: Genesis Extends Life Of Coal-Fuelled Power Station To 2022

Genesis Energy will keep its two coal and gas-fired units at Huntly Power Station operating until 2022, having previously said they'd be closed by 2018, after wringing a high price from other electricity generators who wanted to keep them as back-up. More>>

ALSO:

Dammed If You Do: Ruataniwha Irrigation Scheme Hits Farmer Uptake Targets

Enough Hawke's Bay farmers have signed up for water from the proposed Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme for it to go ahead as long as a cornerstone institutional capital investor can be found to back it, its regional council promoter announced. More>>

ALSO:

Reserve Bank: OCR Stays At 2.25%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2.25 percent, in a decision traders had said could go either way, while predicting inflation will pick up as the slump in oil prices washes out of the data and capacity pressures start to build in the economy. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news