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Biodiversity Action Plan Launched

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A plan to improve the health of native animals and plants and their habitats in Hawke’s Bay will be launched on 22 May at Havelock North Function Centre.

The Hawke's Bay Biodiversity Action Plan 2017-2020 is the first planning tool to implement the Hawke’s Bay Biodiversity Strategy which was completed in 2015.

Hawke’s Bay has lost a large part of its biodiversity, that range of species, habitats and networks that make a healthy environment. The vision of Biodiversity Hawke’s Bay is to bring together all the groups and individuals working to protect what is left, enhance habitats and make a difference.

“There are wonderful people already doing great work in Hawke’s Bay to protect birds, plants and habitats.  But until now they have largely worked in isolation, so by planning together we can be use collective knowledge and action to be more effective,” says Connie Norgate, Operations Manager for DOC Napier who is the Chair of the Biodiversity Guardians.

The Biodiversity Guardians has been established as a key point in the Action Plan. It is an incorporated society that will represent the public interest in biodiversity and actively oversee the Strategy in action. People can join the Guardians and help put the Action Plan to work. 

“We want to encourage more people and landowners to get involved in exciting conservation and biodiversity enhancement work, from large projects across farm and bush land, right down to urban backyards,” she says.

The Hawke’s Bay Biodiversity Action Plan was developed over 2015 and 2016 through a series of workshops and meetings with tāngata whenua, statutory agencies and the conservation community. These resulted in 39 action items which have been prioritised to six key actions which are being worked on in the first three years. 

A second organisation, the Hawke’s Bay Biodiversity Foundation, was also a priority.  This Trust has been established and has the goals of growing an endowment fund and ultimately administering funding of biodiversity restoration projects.

Ecosystem mapping and ecological prioritisation underpins all the other priorities actions, and this project is already well underway. Desk top mapping has been completed and work on the ground is confirming details. 

Other priorities are working with iwi partners to develop a cultural framework that supports protection of taonga sites and species, and working with private landowners to identify and protect key biodiversity sites on private land.  Regular biodiversity Forums where all the groups involved in ecosystem work can share progress are also planned.

The HB Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan are available on www.biodiversityhb.org.

20 June 2018

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