Last week we listened to Professor Bruce Clarkson (pictured) talk about the positive change in biodiversity on Egmont National Park.
Professor Clarkson knows the Park extremely well. He was raised in Midhirst and a lot of his early research focused on the Mounga. He is now University of Waikato’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and recognised as one of New Zealand’s foremost authorities on ecological restoration.
He shared fascinating facts and images showing the physical landscape changes from when the Park was ravaged by possums and goats in the 1960s, to its regeneration over time thanks to the ongoing multi-tool predator and pest control efforts.
His optimism for the future of our Mounga gives the confidence that the Taranaki Mounga Project, along with our founding partners – Taranaki Iwi Chairs Forum, Department of Conservation (DOC) and NEXT Foundation are on the right track.
His optimism is a result of the:
- Ongoing funding from DOC, Ministry for Primary Industries and the increased support from philanthropic interests.
- New underpinning research programmes.
- Emerging new policy framework.
- Continuing growth of community-led conservation.
- The shift to regional scale restoration.
- New collaborative and collective impact models.
- Increased recognition of the seriousness of climate change and biodiversity decline.
- New awareness of human wellbeing and health benefits of greenspace.
Thank you again Professor Clarkson for your insights. Also, to our Chair Jamie Tuuta and Project Director Jan Hania who provided an update on the Taranaki Mounga Project, with a focus on two of our values Manaakitanga / Reciprocity and Kotahitanga / Collaboration.
In addition, thank you to Taranaki Regional Council Deputy Chair Michael Joyce and Wild for Taranaki Chair Roy Weaver who spoke about the importance of partnerships and community as we collectively work Towards a Predator-Free Taranaki.