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The programme worked in partnership with a range of stakeholders including regional and central government and was aligned with key initiatives such as the State of the Environment (SOE) reporting, Environmental Monitoring and Reporting (EMaR) and the National Science Challenges. There was also a significant amount of international engagement and collaboration.
There were three main test applications based on indicator domains: soil health, land use, and species occupancy. A key aspect of the project was to develop techniques to characterise the provenance, quality, and uncertainties for data source and recording workflows to enable an auditable process behind any reporting product.
The Innovative Data Analysis (IDA) programme was an MBIE-funded research project led by Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research that ran for 4 years (2014–2018).
The goal of the IDA programme was to research and develop processes to integrate and harmonise high priority heterogeneous land resource and biodiversity datasets about New Zealand to support a step change in the quality of environmental reporting.
People who make decisions about the environment of New Zealand need accurate and reliable environmental data. With these data, they can make informed decisions about natural resource management, set environmental policy, and assess progress towards ecological sustainability and whether policy initiatives or environmental management approaches are effective over time.
Environmental reporting relies on using a range of indicators to measure and report on the overall health of the environment. Indicators are created by combining data with scientific knowledge about the aspect of the environment being reported on.
The IDA programme aimed to have impact by supporting central and regional government to report on the state of the New Zealand environment in a standardised, statistically robust and transparent way. The programme was aligned with key initiatives such as New Zealand State of the Environment (SOE) reporting, Environmental Monitoring and Reporting (EMaR), and the National Science Challenges.
IDA used next-generation data analysis and informatics techniques and worked with data custodians and end users to develop statistical indicators for three domains: soil health, land use, and species occupancy. The programme focused on extracting knowledge and value from existing environmental data sets rather than on the collection of new data. Its focus was also not research outcomes but rather technical and social infrastructure outcomes.
On these pages we provide a summary of some of the outputs from the programme and provide links to reports and other outputs for scientists, regional and central government, iwi and the business sector.