“With sheep and beef farms being home to 2.8 million hectares of native vegetation, which includes 1.4 million hectares of native forest – the largest area of indigenous biodiversity outside of the Department of Conservation estate – indigenous biodiversity is hugely important for our sector,” says B+LNZ’s Chief Executive Sam McIvor.
“These tracts of native vegetation on sheep and beef farms are a model of how indigenous biodiversity can be integrated into productive and profitable farming systems.”
B+LNZ is in the process of reviewing the NPSIB in more detail, but says it’s taking a principled approach to assessing the proposed policy statement.
“Enhancing biodiversity is just one part of our farmers’ environmental stewardship commitment. The sector’s environmental strategy also covers freshwater, climate change, and soil health and productivity, and it’s critical these work cohesively with any proposed biodiversity policies to deliver improved environmental outcomes as well as thriving rural communities.
“Ensuring there’s clarity for both landowners and Councils on how to manage and protect this biodiversity will be beneficial for everyone. It’s important to have an approach that encourages farmers and communities to work together, supports and rewards those farmers who have done the right thing, and provides incentives to restore indigenous biodiversity where it has been lost.
“Farmers are already doing amazing things through grassroots initiatives like catchment communities, as well as more in-depth work with land and farm environment plans, and this approach needs to be built on.”
Farmers can visit the Ministry for the Environment’s website www.mfe.govt.nz for more information, and B+LNZ will be providing advice and engaging with farmers about the proposed NPSIB.
For more information, please contact B+LNZ’s Senior Communications Advisor Gwynn Compton on 027 838 6353.