It was a challenging start to 2023 for the rural community of the Upper Clutha, with drought conditions affecting the summer season.
The recent Wānaka A&P Show was a wonderful opportunity for both the rural and urban communities to have a day out – and an opportunity for the Knowledge into Action for Te Taiao team to connect with them and introduce the project's kaupapa.
Hosted in the Our Land and Water tent, the project team was joined by Land & Water Science to demonstrate the ability of geospatial mapping to deepen our knowledge of landscapes and provide confidence in decision-making to realise opportunities for farm businesses and te Taiao.
At the opposite end of the show, WAI Wānaka’s education team was part of Our Place – a collaboration of local environmental groups showcasing their work through activities and interactive displays.
The Knowledge into Action for Te Taiao team is growing and we are lucky to be joined by Ben Youngman as our new Science Communicator.
Out on the whenua, some of the smaller landowners took part in an environmental planning workshop led by Knowledge into Action for Te Taiao in collaboration with NZ Landcare Trust. There was a particular interest in understanding and improving soils and a follow-up event is being planned to expand on this topic.
A workshop introducing farmers and rural professionals to NZFAP Plus was held in Wānaka with Alan McDermott and Simon Stokes. With excellent feedback, another will be hosted in May. This workshop outlined NZFAP Plus as a framework for farmers to collect and collate information that would support their decision-making on-farm to create resilient and sustainable farm businesses.
To support this process, WAI Wānaka has developed a biodiversity and freshwater monitoring programme on farms to understand soils, indigenous vegetation, bird life, and aquatic health. The Knowledge into Action for Te Taiao team is implementing this on-farm this autumn.
Working with Environmental Accounting Services and the local community, a catchment-wide monitoring system is being developed to monitor the long-term impacts of key environmental and social indicators. We have set up a steering group to ensure it is a community-led initiative with a whole-of-catchment approach.
The aims of the catchment-wide monitoring system are to:
The Knowledge into Action for Te Taiao team is working with Land & Water Science to collate and analyse data and mapping information for the Upper Clutha to guide land use and land management decisions.
This data will guide us in understanding areas in the catchment which:
The Knowledge into Action for Te Taiao team and WAI Wānaka are now looking forward to hosting the larger Revitalise Te Taiao whanau for a hui in Wānaka in May.