National Land Resource Centre (NLRC)
The launch of a new science-backed national initiative is a big step to improving the way science is used to enhance one of the country’s most important resources – the land.
An initiative of Landcare Research, NLRC – the National Land Resources Centre – will be a ‘one stop shop’ for providing information for policy, business and science practitioners, co-ordinating engagement and foresight into future issues, as well as undertaking capacity building across the sectors.
New Zealand’s ‘land economy’ – agriculture, forestry, mining and tourism – provides more than 25% of the country’s GDP and therefore our future prosperity is highly dependent on better understanding and managing this important resource.
“The science of the land resource seemed the perfect place to seek transformation given a history of fragmented capability and its low profile compared with its sibling resources of water and atmosphere,” says Director of the NLRC, Dr Alison Collins.
“A new approach to the way we produce and use research could make a significant impact. And not just looking at today’s issues but providing strategic leadership so we consider tomorrow’s challenges and the science that might be needed to respond to them.”
Technical Director of the NLRC David Medyckyj-Scott says the NLRC’s development is in response to the CRI Taskforce recommendations that included calls for a more collaborative approach to solving national science challenges and a focus on creating maximum research uptake and therefore impact, by working strategically and in partnership with all stakeholders.
Dr Medyckyj-Scott says the centre has three main aims, which have been developed in conjunction with stakeholders.
“Firstly, engagement with all those interested in the land resource by providing a gateway into available research and resources, workshops, forums and best teams. Secondly, access to customised, easily consumable and fi t-for-purpose information for policy, business and science users – for today and tomorrow’s New Zealand. The NLRC will remove the barriers that sometimes prevent science being understood and used,” he says.
The final aim is for an improvement in national capability to lift performance for those researching, governing and managing the land resource.
Minister of Science and Innovation Hon. Steven Joyce said the establishment of the Centre signalled an exciting new era for soil and land research by linking together the science community and end-users.
“Improving access to high quality land and soil knowledge will enable better management of our land resources. The Centre is also enabling agencies and organisations to easily share land management information, encouraging greater collaboration and co-ordination in this area.”