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Farming and Nature Conservation Project—30 October 2019

October 31, 2019

The Farming and Nature Conservation (FNC) Project https://www.farmingnatureconservation.org/ is a collaboration of biological and social scientists from the University of Canterbury, Auckland University of Technology (AUT) and AgResearch.  They have come together to work with farmers, iwi, communities and government to study how biodiversity issues associated with beef and sheep farming can be managed in agroecosystems in the future, in a way that will benefit both farming and native biodiversity.

Considering the importance of agriculture to the New Zealand economy, the work has significant social and economic implications and over the past two years the FNC team has been conducting studies on three farm sites across NZ.

Today we were delighted to host the FNC team at CUE Haven as they presented the preliminary findings of their research on the Kaipara farms to the farmers and community members.

The FNC team included  Stacey Bryan, FNC project manager and science communicator;  Project co-lead Professor David Norton, University of Canterbury;  Project co-lead Associate Professor Hanna Buckley, AUT;  Dr Brad Case,  Senior Lecturer, Geospatial Science, AUT;  Graham Hinchcliffe, Senior Research officer, AUT;  Dr Valance Smith, Assistant Pro Vice Chancellor, AUT; Febyana Suryaningrum, PhD student, AUT.

Guests included farmers Nicky, Alan and Jonelle; Jane Straka, CUE Haven trustee and consulting ecologist, Gill and Kevin Adshead of The Forest Bridge Trust, Thomas and Mahrukh Stazyk, CUE Haven,  Sarah Nolan of Auckland Council and Kerry Webster, John Ballinger, David McDermott and Pip Beauchamp of the Northland Regional Council.

The program for the day consisted of a series of presentations about the research on the study farms with the guests engaging the FNC team with questions relating to the topics covered.

Stacey Bryan started the off the presentation with an introduction to the FNC project and talked about the National Science Challenge and how the Farming and Nature Conservation Project fits into the Challenges.

Dr Brad Case talked about some of the science of biodiversity and issues such as carbon sequestration and plant and animal life.

Professor David Norton presented information about biodiversity on farms and how that related to farm operations and economics.

Dr Valence Smith discussed the Maori perspectives on agriculture and biodiversity.

And Jane Straka gave a brief presentation on the biodiversity restoration work being done on some of the farms in the Kaipara area.

We ended the day with a walk through the restored CUE Haven bush.

It was a fantastic day of learning and exchanging ideas and we were very happy to host the FNC group and learn more about their work.  We want to thank Stacey for arranging for the day, and all of the presenters who shared their knowledge and ideas.  We look forward to having you back for another interesting session and to explore more of CUE Haven.

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