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Te Mana o te Taiao is about making a collective difference

A feature of the three bird-related projects in Issue 6 of Pūtaiao is the strong theme and spirit of collaboration that run through them.

Manaaki Whenua researchers are working across agencies, and with kaitiaki iwi, community groups and landowners to gather as much species knowledge as possible to create the tools and models that will then feed into regional biodiversity strategies.

This is in line with the new Te Mana o te Taiao - the Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy for the active protection of species that is inclusive of Te Tiriti partners, and the different people, groups and sections involved in biodiversity protection and restoration.

The new Biodiversity Strategy has been described as a chance to reset our priorities and take action together so that nature thrives both for its own sake and as the basis of human well-being.

At the heart of the strategy is the invitation to create connections and build partnerships with different groups, and embrace mātauranga Māori.

Many of our scientists in research programmes are already embracing this call to action, working with community-driven projects and pest-management initiatives, such as the projects highlighted here.

"Te Mana o te Taiao envisions Aotearoa as a place where ecosystems are healthy and resilient."

These programmes have been designed to ensure we have more birds in the bush and on the plains in the future, and are already demonstrating that the collaborative approach enables better quality and quantity of data collected.

Te Mana o te Taiao envisions Aotearoa as a place where ecosystems are healthy and resilient. DOC consulted widely during the development of Te Mana o te Taiao, including public submissions, a stakeholder reference group that consisted of Forest & Bird, Federated Farmers, Environmental Defence Society, Forest Owners Association, Fish & Game, Fisheries Inshore NZ, a Science Reference Group, and a Te Ao Māori reference group.

The Strategy, which anticipates a future where caring for nature is part of everyone’s values and an integral part of daily life, sets out five core outcomes to ensure nature is thriving by 2050. There are three key themes; getting the system right, empowering action, and protecting and restoring; with specific objectives and goals for 2025, 2030, and 2050.

For us at Manaaki Whenua, protecting our biodiversity means protecting and enhancing whole ecosystems whether through predator control, controlling invasive plant species and pathogens, or understanding environment and climate change. In line with the strategy, collaboration, co-design and partnership will deliver better outcomes and ensure the thriving biodiverse future we all aspire to.

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