Our Changing World for Thursday 28 February 2008
On This Programme
Biofuels are a contentious issue - with their exponents singing their praises while many environmentalists warn that they cause more problems than they solve. But a Blenheim company is manufacturing a second generation fuel it says is made without losing land, without polluting the atmosphere, without creating greenhouse gasses, where you can take a crop every day instead of once a year and which is up to 300 times more productive per acre than land crops. Amelia Nurse talks to Barrie Leay, chairman of Aquaflow Bionomic Corporation about the future of biofuel made from algae harvested from effluent management systems - and they pay a visit to Blenheim's waste water ponds where the algae is being collected.
Invasive species can rapidly destroy the heart of a biodiversity hot spot and nowhere better has this been witnessed than in New Zealand. Our unique population of birds and reptiles has been decimated by introduced mammals such as the possum, rat, mouse and stoat. However in a pioneering experiment, New Zealand's islands have been cleared of invasive pests allowing the native flora and fauna to thrive. How is this radical approach being applied to the mainland in an attempt to re-establish the species there that gave this ancient biodiversity hotspot its unique quality? In the final installment of our Balancing Nature series, the ABC's Lynne Malcolm visits Kapiti Island, the community run reserve at Maungatautari and Karori Wildlife Sanctuary. She asks if it's possible to recreate long lost and sustainable native ecosystems, or will they always remain artificially conserved habitats?