The launch of the National Land Resource Centre
The recent launch at Te Papa in Wellington of the National Land Resource Centre (NLRC) heralded a science-backed national initiative to improve the way science is used to enhance one of the country ́s most important assets – the land.
Initiated by Landcare Research, the National Land Resources Centre will be a ‘one stop shop’ for providing information for policy, business and science, coordinating engagement and foresight into future issues, as well as undertaking capacity building.
New Zealand’s ‘land economy’ – agriculture, forestry, mining and tourism – provides more than 25% of the country’s GDP and our future prosperity is therefore highly dependent on better understanding and managing this important asset.
The science of the land resource seemed the perfect place to seek transformation. A new approach to the way we produce and use research could make a significant impact – not just looking at today’s issues but providing strategic leadership as we consider tomorrow’s challenges and the science that might be needed to respond to them.
The NLRC’s development is in response to the Crown Research Institute’s 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.
The NLRC has three main aims that have been developed in conjunction with stakeholders:
- Engagement with all those interested in the land resource by providing a gateway into available research and resources, workshops, forums and best teams
- Access to best available, easily consumable and fit-for-purpose information for policy, business and science users – for today and tomorrow’s New Zealand
- National capability building to lift performance for those researching, governing and managing the land resource
The Hon. Steven Joyce, Minister of Science and Innovation, 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 coordination in this area.”