Farmers’ attention is drawn to draft National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity

Beef + Lamb NZ is encouraging farmers to take an interest in proposals set out in a draft National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity.

There is much in the statement it agrees with, according to a post on the B+LNZ website.  This includes the intent of the NPS.

But there are some areas of concern that require changes if farming is to coexist with biodiversity, it says.

B+LNZ is working with officials to clarify the intent of the policy.

The government announced in November last year it is seeking feedback on its proposal for maintaining and protecting the country’s indigenous biodiversity into the future.

The draft National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity has been developed by the Ministry for the Environment and the Department of Conservation.

The consultation will close on 14 March.

National Policy Statements are a tool the government uses to set regulatory requirements across the country.

B+LNZ says the NPS for biodiversity is of particular relevance to sheep and beef farmers given the significant stands of native vegetation on their farms – some 2.8 million hectares according to research by the University of Canterbury.

It identifieds these key points

  • Local councils will be required to map all significant natural areas (SNAs) within five years against a new standard criteria, whereas previously there was more flexibility for how this was defined by each community.
  • Given the proposed criteria, it’s possible that these SNAs could cover most, or all of, entire sheep and beef farms in some areas.
  • A range of measures in the statement could then severely restrict activities farmers could undertake within or adjacent to those SNAs.
  • This would then have the effect of creating a grandparenting approach, where farmers who have protected indigenous biodiversity, or encouraged regeneration of it, wear the greatest costs and potential limitations to the ongoing use of their land.

Throughout February B+LNZ will run a series of workshops in collaboration with Federated Farmers to help farmers understand the implications from the NPS on Indigenous Biodiversity and to provide advice on writing a submission.

Federated Farmers and B+LNZ have also produced a joint factsheet which summarises the key changes and their likely impacts for farmers.

Readers can find out more …

Source:  Beef+Lamb NZ

Author: Bob Edlin

Editor of AgScience Magazine and Editor of the AgScience Blog

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