A national body incorporating both public and private interests to oversee New Zealand’s work to protect and improve our biodiversity could ensure efforts are coordinated and as effective as possible, regional and unitary councils say.
Local Government New Zealand’s Regional Sector has released a report into the future of biodiversity management in the country, calling for clarification of roles and responsibilities and the creation of a clear biodiversity goal and a plan to achieve it.
It makes five recommendations for change:
- The need for strong leadership and clarity of roles and responsibilities
- The need to agree where we should focus our efforts at national, regional
and local level
- The importance of a national plan and delivering joined-up action across all players
- The need to understand what success looks like, and how to measure it
- The need for modern, fit-for-purpose frameworks, including legislation, to help to achieve our goals.
LGNZ Regional Sector Chair Doug Leeder says the commitment to biodiversity protection has grown substantially in recent times, including through the Predator Free 2050 project, increasing philanthropic investment and significant community effort.
Mr Leeder says with biodiversity efforts from so many quarters strong leadership is required to ensure the best use of resources and outcomes.
“Biodiversity, through habitat protection and pest management, is core business for regional and unitary councils and we see a need for a more coordinated approach to this work,” Mr Leeder says.
“There is a lot of positive action and focus on our precious biodiversity and we are keen to ensure all parties are working to a consistent and coherent plan. The current system is unclear, with multiple players and few mechanisms to allow parties to work together.
“Being smarter and more strategic in our efforts, with a clear battle plan for ‘NZ inc’ focusing on active management like pest control across all parties, will make the greatest difference to accelerating the protection of our biodiversity. Put simply, we need to make sure we are all paddling the waka in the right direction.”
The report also outlines the role of regional and unitary councils in biodiversity, the challenges facing biodiversity in New Zealand, new technologies being utilised and the need for further new tools and approaches.