Eight ways to improve native vegetation on private land

July 11, 2018 in Earth / Environment
Upscaling means dramatically increasing the land area of native restoration activities to tens or hundreds of thousands of hectares. An area of native restoration is pictured above. Credit: David Norton/UC

University of Canterbury research has led to eight recommendations on how New Zealanders can help increase the benefits they reap from large-scale native restorations located on private land.

To substantially increase the scale of native restoration, several key issues need to be built into restoration planning, implementation and monitoring, according to a paper co-authored by BioHeritage Challenge Project Leader, UC Forestry Professor David Norton.

The study focuses on areas that have been used for pastoral farming – which comprise 40% of Aotearoa's – because these are the areas that will get the most conservation benefit from substantially upscaling restoration activities. Upscaling means dramatically increasing the land area of restoration activities to tens or hundreds of thousands of hectares.

"Upscaling restoration efforts in New Zealand and globally poses many challenges, but the potential gains for biodiversity conservation far outweigh the costs of tackling these challenges," Professor Norton says.

Those gains include increasing the total area of for flora and fauna, enhancing linkages between remnants of the original forests and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The restored areas reduce soil erosion and purify water, plus the native plants and animals are beneficial in relation to cultural values – for both Māori and Pākehā, he says.

"In this study, we have reviewed what we see as some of the challenges facing upscaling restoration activities in New Zealand and have made eight recommendations that we believe will help enhance the outcomes of large-scale restoration. These are particularly relevant given the Government's recently announced One Billion Trees initiative which is proposed to include a substantial component of native planting."

To maximise the impact of the recommendations, robust national guidance is needed to help those who will potentially implement them – including nurseries, restoration practitioners, community groups, iwi, government and non-government organisations, Professor Norton says.

The eight recommendations:

More information: David A. Norton et al. Upscaling restoration of native biodiversity: A New Zealand perspective, Ecological Management & Restoration (2018). DOI: 10.1111/emr.12316

Provided by University of Canterbury

"Eight ways to improve native vegetation on private land" July 11, 2018 https://phys.org/news/2018-07-ways-native-vegetation-private.html