New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy – Your say in Nature

A new national biodiversity strategy is an opportunity to rethink how we consider the place of nature in decision making, so that human activities are supporting indigenous biodiversity rather than contributing to its decline. A chance to have your say comes in the discussion document – ‘Te Koiroa o te Koiora– released in early August by the Department of Conservation (DOC).

The recent IPBES Global Assessment Report shows that one million species worldwide are threatened with extinction. Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history. The report warns that people are eroding the very foundations of their economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life. New Zealand’s indigenous biodiversity is also in danger. Around 4000 species are at risk of extinction and natural ecosystems are in decline, despite progress in conservation management over the past years. There is an urgent need for more action.

A new national biodiversity strategy is an opportunity to rethink how biodiversity is considered in decision making, so that human activities are supporting indigenous biodiversity rather than contributing to its decline. Te Koiroa o te Koiora – a discussion document released by the Department of Conservation – proposes an interconnected approach of supporting people to take action, and shifting human systems and behaviour, in order to restore biodiversity.

Collaboration and partnership

Working together will be key to succeeding. An effective Treaty partnership between tangata whenua and the Crown will enable people to re-connect with the natural environment they are part of and realise kaitiakitanga. By investing in systems and relationships for iwi/hapū and government to work together in protecting and restoring biodiversity, important cultural and ecological outcomes can be realised at regional and local levels.

Shifts in thinking

Biodiversity needs to be integrated into the way decisions are made in all sectors and areas of society. This will require a step change in New Zealanders’ relationships with nature, and transformative change in the way natural resources are used. Delivering joined-up work that connects ecosystems across landscapes and seascapes, including productive and urban environments, will be critical.

How to be involved

The discussion document introduces proposals that are intended to be conversation starters. Outcomes and goals in the new strategy will need to be specific, achievable and measurable. Now is the opportunity for you to help provide the technical detail that will be crucial to the strategy’s success.

Visit www.doc.govt.nz/biodiversity-consultation to make a submission. Submissions close on 22 September.