FARMING WITH NATIVE BIODIVERSITY

The pilot Farming with Native Biodiversity project will develop biodiversity resources, providing farmers with better access to skills and expertise for enhancing native biodiversity on their farms.

Science-based resources and networks will be created that enable farmers to take long-term affirmative action. The project will work with farmers, catchment groups and councils to develop case studies in different regions for different farm types.

Project Overview 

  • Project start: 19 October 2021
  • Project length: 2 years
  • Industry partners: NZ Landcare Trust, Silver Fern Farms, Living Water Partnership
  • Regions: Northland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Canterbury, Otago, Southland
  • Goal: Develop case studies, podcasts, and video tutorials that will bring biodiversity into farm systems thinking

The pilot aims to learn by doing. There are many problems and challenges in providing guidance on biodiversity management and enhancement on-farm. The pilot will collect feedback on what farmers and farm advisors need and learn how to best communicate the science principles that inform biodiversity management, monitoring and enhancement to farmers and advisors.

Step 1: increase the number of skilled biodiversity experts who understand farming by developing and training land advisors about native biodiversity.

Step 2: make relevant resources available in an online hub, like training videos, how to guides, fact sheets etc available aimed at farmers and farm advisors

 Background

50% of Aotearoa New Zealand’s land cover is pastoral farming, and pastoral land contains one quarter of all remaining native vegetation which we know is in decline.

This project aims to make it much easier for farmers to integrate existing native biodiversity into their farming systems and protect and enhance what biodiversity already exists on their land. The NZ Landcare Trust is leading this project and is supported by Living Water, Silver Fern Farms and the BioHeritage National Science Challenge/Ngā Koiora Tuku Iho. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund (SFF Futures), administrated by the Ministry for Primary Industries, is contributing 70 percent of the $1.4 million funding. It runs from October 2021 until June 2023.

The project evolved from Farming and Nature Conservation, a research project supported by the NZ Biological Heritage National Science Challenge. We also know from the biodiversity assessments on farm pilot carried out by Living Water on Fonterra farms, that the biggest barriers to farmers taking action were limited access to good advice and ecological expertise and the cost of preparing farm biodiversity plans. Building on this information, by 2023 the project aims to have expertise and resources easily accessible to farmers and their advisors.

Our Contact for this Project

Esther Richardson | Project Manager | esther.richardson@biodiversity.org.nz