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In our submission to the Climate Change Commission we are keen to see them advise the government to increase support for regenerative farming methods that put the life back into our soils and waterways. We also recommend greater incentives for landowners to retire and reserve marginal farm land, including wetlands, waterways and catchment heads.
Phil Jones leads SBN’s work on climate. He says: “It’s great to see the Commissions support for large scale native planting and rewilding, which is vital for tackling climate change and restoring biodiversity. However, we think much wider natural regeneration efforts, across New Zealand’s landscapes, waterways and oceans, should be considered. It will help stimulate new ideas and increase community engagement with the national drive to lower our greenhouse gas emissions.”
“There’s a deeper aspect to all this too. The full economic, social, psychological and spiritual benefits of climate change action are barely referenced in the report. This suggests they remain under-valued and poorly understood.
“In the work of the Million Metres Streams Project, they include the benefits of exercise, working communally towards shared goals and renewing our connection to the landscape and water. There’s also a huge range of positive knock-on effects from restoring waterway banks.”
Million Metres would like to see the Commission and Government place more emphasis on this in the future. We also support a strengthening emphasis on Te Ao Māori perspectives. We believe they are a culturally, historically and geographically appropriate manner to emphasise and celebrate nature’s role in the needed restoration, and the maintenance of living balance.