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Fonterra To Help Restore 50 Freshwater Catchments

Monday, 24 December 2018 at 10:02am

Last month we wrote about New Zealand’s new approach to freshwater management under the Labour government.  This month we want to share some industry initiatives with freshwater management and farming.

 

In July 2017 Fonterra announced their ambition to restore 50 freshwater catchments, signalling the Co-op’s desire to take a leading role in improving New Zealand’s waterways.  This new initiative builds on an existing partnership with the Department of Conservation, which was established in 2013. This partnership is known as Living Waters, a ten year programme with the aim of achieving sustainable dairying in healthy freshwater ecosystems. The programme focuses on five catchments and aiwms to improve natural habitats, and freshwater outcomes.

 

The new 50 catchments programme will involve working with communities, Government and key partners to identify catchments and develop a strategic framework for the programme. This programme recognises that there is not a one size fits all to restoring our waterways, every catchment and community is unique. To recognise this, their support will vary depending on the needs of the people and the catchment.  

 

The programme could involve various projects depending on the catchment, such as accelerating the development of farm environment plans to reduce contaminants entering waterways, a wastewater upgrade at a Fonterra processing site, scientists supporting ‘citizen scientists’ to monitor waterway quality, providing advice and support to catchment care groups, funding for restoration projects, rallying volunteers from local factories or Farm Source teams, and sitting at the table and talking about the hard issues.

 

Both rural and urban catchments are included in the programme, and the focus will be on restoring water quality for recreation and ecosystem health for native fish and wildlife, enhancing wetlands, accelerating riparian planting, and restoring mahinga kai and culturally significant areas. These will all be part of agreed local action plans.

 

To find out more about the 50 Catchments programme visit the Fonterra website - https://www.fonterra.com/nz/en/what-we-stand-for/environment/water/sustainable-catchments.html