15 Mar 2016

Farmers urged to get behind new Hawke's bay biodiversity strategy

3:47 pm on 15 March 2016

Hawke's Bay farmers are being urged to get behind a new biodiversity strategy aimed at restoring the variety and number of species living in the region.

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Photo: RNZ / Peter Fowler

For the first time in Hawke's Bay's history people and agencies involved in biodiversity, ecology and environmental work have come together to take stock of the region's biodiversity and how it can be improved.

The Hawke's Bay Regional Council's terrestrial ecologist, Keiko Hashiba, said the strategy was being launched this Thursday and interested parties were invited to come along and sign an accord committing to the strategy and its long-term vision.

"The new strategy is a great milestone for those already doing great work in the region and a gateway for others who want to be involved. The strategy is all about aligning the key agencies and connecting various groups that are working to make our environment better and allowing them to share ideas and support each other.

"We are so fortunate to have such wonderful places close by where we can directly interact with water, plants and wildlife. We have some great places in Hawke's Bay. Many have a lot of potential but just need more care and that is what the biodiversity strategy aims to do."

Ms Hashiba said the success of the strategy would depend on all levels of the community working together and sharing in the responsibility to sustain biodiversity now and in the future.

"Anyone can get involved by joining an existing project or restoration group, taking action in their own backyard to improve biodiversity and getting involved in events."

Ms Hashiba said her new role will also look at developing terrestrial ecology programmes, including monitoring programmes for the region's wetlands and riparian zone. "These are all important elements that feed into and affect the biodiversity of our region."