'Addressing Land and Water Issues through Partnerships in Rotorua.'
This two year SMF Funded project is near completion. The aim of the project was to improve sustainable land use in the Rotorua Lakes catchments with a particular focus on nutrient reduction targets to protect the water quality of the lakes.
The primary focus has been providing support for Environment Bay of Plenty to establish and maintain the ‘Land Use Futures Board’ (LUF Board). The Board provides leadership and advice on implementation of sustainable land management practice within the Rotorua Lakes Catchments emphasising actions required to achieve nutrient reduction targets.
A number of reports have been generated during the project, bringing together information on what research is being done by the science community into reducing the loss of nutrients, particularly nitrogen and phosphorous from agricultural land surrounding the Lakes. Information has also been collated on the options for changing the type of land use, moving away from pastoral farming into something which does not pose such a threat to the state of the lakes.
There have been two events organised through the project. Firstly, a workshop where farmers and agency staff were invited to hear about the current research taking place in the area. Attendees were invited to voice their opinions regarding priorities for further research and the barriers for adopting nutrient reduction mitigation techniques.
The second event took the form of a seminar. It was designed to inform landowners about the role of the Land Use Futures Board. It also enabled the farming community to state their perspective regarding nutrient management and the state of the lakes. All attendees had the chance to express their point of view regarding future direction.
The project has successfully supported the establishment of the Land Use Futures Board and helped ensure it makes a notable contribution to the dialogue regarding the state of the Rotorua Lakes in relation to the effect that land use in the catchments has on the lakes. The workshops and meetings have allowed the farming community to speak up and have their opinion on the issues noted as well as providing them with information on the latest research into sustainable land management in the area of controlling nutrient loss on their properties.
For information on all of these achievements please download the PDF reports opposite.