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

 

Waikato Dean to lead Biological Heritage Science Challenge

1 September, 2014

Waikato Dean to lead NZ Biological Heritage Science Challenge

Reversing the decline of New Zealand's biological heritage is the mission for a new multi-million dollar national research programme led by the University of Waikato’s Professor Bruce Clarkson.

The New Zealand Biological Heritage Science Challenge, Ngā koiora Tuku Iho, is one of 10 national Science Challenges funded by the New Zealand government, designed to allow more strategic science investment with the aim of delivering major and ongoing benefits for New Zealand.

A total of $25.8 million was recently committed to the challenge to cover research over the next five years.

Dean of the Faculty of Science & Engineering, Prof Clarkson, has been seconded as a full-time interim director for New Zealand’s Biological Heritage Science Challenge until December this year. The secondment will see Prof Clarkson set up the framework for the challenge, while allowing time for the group to recruit a permanent director.

“Hosted by Landcare Research, the research undertaken in this Challenge will be designed to protect and manage New Zealand’s biodiversity, improve biosecurity and enhance the country’s resilience to harmful organisms,” says Prof Clarkson.

“I decided to request the time to be part of this Challenge because it’s the research area that I’m ultimately most interested in. I’m passionate about making a difference on-the ground and this programme has the potential to be a game-changer in terms of a fundamental shift in research thinking, alignment and collaboration. The proposed research will require new ideas to flourish and work at much larger scale compared with now.”

In fact Prof Clarkson describes the five-year research programme as the biggest of its kind for this topic in New Zealand to date. He hopes that the integrated ‘one ecosystem’ research agenda will synergise benefits, deepen collaboration across research boundaries and most of all, increase the focus of investment on the ‘mission critical’ research which works with and for the community.

“The proposed national partnership, coupled with a high performing, integrated research agenda, will deliver fit-for-purpose, socially acceptable, cost-effective and well-tested solutions to address national priorities in both natural and production ecosystems.”

Prof Clarkson became involved in the project last year when he was invited to work on the Biological Heritage Science Challenge oversight group. The group’s first job was to put together a research plan. He acted as coordinator for the plan involving seven Crown Research Institutes and eight universities. He worked part-time on the project for several months, culminating in the submission of the proposal to Ministry of Business, Immigration and Employment (MBIE) at the end of April.

Professor Bruce Clarkson is recognised as one of New Zealand’s foremost authorities on ecological restoration, and between 2005 and 2012 led a government-funded research programme looking at the best methods to restore indigenous biodiversity in cities. Research results from that programme had a direct impact on restoration approaches in several North Island cities, including the Hamilton gully restoration initiatives and the Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park project near Hamilton Zoo.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 


Westpac NZ: Warns About Sophisticated New Scam
Westpac NZ is warning New Zealanders about a sophisticated new scam that involves a fake Westpac investment prospectus.
The prospectus is formatted to resemble a Westpac document and includes professional-looking imagery... More>>



Campaign For NZ Coastal Tankers : Says Fuel Security At Risk

Three unions representing New Zealand shipping crews are mounting a united campaign to protect New Zealand’s fuel security and save New Zealand coastal tankers... More>>



Tourism: Travel Bubble With Cook Islands Resumes

Cook Islands tourism restarts today, ending a five-month border closure due to COVID-19. Graeme West, General Manager Australasia for Cook Islands Tourism Corporation, said today’s first flight of quarantine-free travel from New Zealand to the Cook Islands is very significant... More>>


Insurance Council of New Zealand: September South Island Windstorm Cost $36.5 M Raises 2021 Extreme Weather Claims Total To $321.6 M

Gale force winds and storms between 9 and 13 September 2021 resulted in insurers supporting communities to the tune of $36.5 m. This is a significant rise, of $16.7 m, on preliminary figures for the event and lifts the end of year total for all extreme weather events in 2021 to $321.6 m... More>>


Statistics: Building Consents Hit New Highs In November
There were a record 48,522 new homes consented in the year ended November 2021, Stats NZ said today. This was up 26 percent compared with the year ended November 2020... More>>

Fonterra: Revises Milk Collection Forecast
Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited today revised the forecast for its 2021/22 New Zealand milk collections to 1,500 million kilograms of milk solids (kgMS), down from its opening forecast of 1,525 million kgMS... More>>