Coast carbon farming initiative a finalist in innovation awards

AN EAST Coast project to spur a native carbon farming industry on Maori land is a finalist in a national environmental competition.

The Maori Carbon Farming Cooperative was entered by Manu Caddie of Ruatoria into the WWF-New Zealand 2017 Conservation Innovation Awards and was this week named a finalist.

“An opportunity exists to establish a cooperative model of carbon farming native species that will regenerate indigenous biodiversity, sequester large volumes of carbon and create both employment and income for Maori landowners,” the entry said.

The awards are designed to help innovators fast-track their ideas to development through three prize packages of $25,000.

They cover three categories — engaging young people and communities, Predator Free New Zealand 2050 and an open category.

If successful, the $25,000 funding would go towards setting up a Maori Carbon Farming Cooperative.

The project would initially work with a small group of 10 to 12 East Coast Maori land blocks interested in carbon farming to develop the relationships and legal structures required to establish a carbon farming cooperative that would amalgamate land available for planting natives into deals with major emitters.

“Eighty percent of the two million hectares of land remaining in Maori ownership is considered marginal or unsuitable for modern farming and in many places is severely erosion prone,” the entry said.

The cooperative would work to either replant some of the land in native forest or leave it to regenerate.

The increase in native forest would help restore biodiversity, slow down erosion of hill country and riparian margins, and help cut carbon emissions contributing to climate change.

There were 47 entries from across the country for the awards,.

Thirty-five finalists were selected from Northland, Auckland, Raglan, Hamilton, the East Coast, Waikanae, Martinborough, Palmerston North, Whanganui, Wellington, Upper Hutt, Dunedin, Nelson and Christchurch.

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Wellington on November 22.

AN EAST Coast project to spur a native carbon farming industry on Maori land is a finalist in a national environmental competition.

The Maori Carbon Farming Cooperative was entered by Manu Caddie of Ruatoria into the WWF-New Zealand 2017 Conservation Innovation Awards and was this week named a finalist.

“An opportunity exists to establish a cooperative model of carbon farming native species that will regenerate indigenous biodiversity, sequester large volumes of carbon and create both employment and income for Maori landowners,” the entry said.

The awards are designed to help innovators fast-track their ideas to development through three prize packages of $25,000.

They cover three categories — engaging young people and communities, Predator Free New Zealand 2050 and an open category.

If successful, the $25,000 funding would go towards setting up a Maori Carbon Farming Cooperative.

The project would initially work with a small group of 10 to 12 East Coast Maori land blocks interested in carbon farming to develop the relationships and legal structures required to establish a carbon farming cooperative that would amalgamate land available for planting natives into deals with major emitters.

“Eighty percent of the two million hectares of land remaining in Maori ownership is considered marginal or unsuitable for modern farming and in many places is severely erosion prone,” the entry said.

The cooperative would work to either replant some of the land in native forest or leave it to regenerate.

The increase in native forest would help restore biodiversity, slow down erosion of hill country and riparian margins, and help cut carbon emissions contributing to climate change.

There were 47 entries from across the country for the awards,.

Thirty-five finalists were selected from Northland, Auckland, Raglan, Hamilton, the East Coast, Waikanae, Martinborough, Palmerston North, Whanganui, Wellington, Upper Hutt, Dunedin, Nelson and Christchurch.

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Wellington on November 22.

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