Supporting Aotearoa biodiversity
We've established a $1 million nature fund to improve the resilience of Aotearoa New Zealand's indigenous biodiversity. The focus for investment is on:
- innovation to accelerate nature restoration,
- Improving financial incentives for restoration of important ecosystems most vulnerable to climate change and
- restoration that delivers real co-benefits such as education, training and employment opportunities to support an equitable transition to a low carbon future.
The Nature Conservancy – Blue Carbon Project
Mangroves, seagrasses and salt marshes line vast stretches of New Zealand’s coastline and provide essential ecosystem services and huge biodiversity value. The blue carbon captured by these systems can remain in the soil for thousands of years, making it one of the longest-term natural solutions to climate change. These systems have sustained significant impacts through land clearance, grazing, sedimentation, pollution and rising sea levels.
We are partnering with The Nature Conservancy to support its global programme of work to create the enabling conditions for a thriving blue carbon marketplace. Z’s support will help TNC with the pilot phase of the project to build a carbon sequestration evidence base at the key sites, undertake the restoration work and bring the credits to market.
Sustainable Business Network – the Puhinui Regeneration Project
The Puninui Stream flows from Totora Park, through Ōtara and Papatoetoe, out to Manakau Harbour. Sustainable Business Network (SBN) is leading the Puhinui Regeneration Project to help regenerate the land, waters and people of the Puhinui catchment. This work will support the mauri to grow stronger by creating and financing jobs for local rangatahi that contribute to a restoration vision led by mana whenua and the local community. Rangatahi are employed, upskilled, and provided valuable work experience. The aim is to raise $16 million over the next five years to employ and upskill 100 rangatahi in a range of nature-positive disciplines.
Z’s contribution to the project will be utilised to deliver SBN’s aspirations for 2022-23. The focus of the project through this period is to maximise nature-based employment opportunities for local rangatahi in South Auckland, provide valuable training and experience for them to become more employable and embed local Mātauranga Māori knowledge into their everyday work.
Trees That Count - Seed Islands: Accelerating native forest regeneration
The cost of blanket planting native forest remains magnitudes greater than that of exotic species such as Pinus radiata. Aotearoa native forest has remarkable ability to regenerate naturally if given a chance, so harnessing the power of nature to establish native ecosystems provides the most effective approach for large scale reforestation. The application of strategies such as ‘seed islands’ can assist natural regeneration and accelerate the succession process back to native forest at catchment and landscape scales. Seed islands can boost scarce or locally extinct canopy tree species, act as ‘stepping stones’ to attract birds to roost, feed and spread seed and mimic nature in the promotion of hardy shrub species as nurse cover to allow for subsequent successional canopy species to establish. Seed islands and nurse crops are practical methods for land owners, iwi and communities to establish corridors of indigenous biodiversity across our working lands that will enhance existing production pastoral, horticultural and forestry land uses, and our urban environments.
We are partnering with Trees That Count who will work closely with Tane’s Tree Trust to establish a network of demonstration sites to trial and promote the concept of seed islands, testing different planting treatments and methods, to learn how to effectively accelerate landscape scale restoration by utilising nature. The scientific data and results will be used to demonstrate on a national level, the opportunities and methods to drive more cost effective and efficient largescale restoration and advocate for the benefits of natural regeneration.