Science Media Centre

Science Media Centre

Featured

MfE reports on changes to NZ’s landscapes – Expert reaction

Posted in Expert Reactions

The extent to which we have changed our natural landscapes is highlighted in the latest instalment of the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ’s environmental reporting.

Our Lands 2018, released today, also indicates significant gaps in our knowledge about land use and the flow-on effects to soil.

The report and other materials are available on MfE’s website.

The Science Media Centre has asked experts to comment on the report.

David Fleming, Fellow, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research, comments:

“The Our Land 2018 report just released by MfE and StatsNZ is a key document that will enable us to better understand where New Zealand stands in terms of challenges and pressures that our environment is facing. As highlighted in the summary video of the report, biodiversity in New Zealand is in danger. Soils and water streams are increasingly being menaced by human activity.

“In order to better confront these challenges, the country needs to build more and better data sources on land use activity, resources use and condition. Without consistent national integrated data sources, it will be very hard to track future environmental conditions and the effects of policies or programs intended to reduce human impact.

“One shocking example in New Zealand is the shocking lack of rural waste data. As pages 65-67 of the report explains, limited data on waste disposal impedes any assessment of the scale of the issue, let alone our ability to track any change. Better records and tracking of waste disposal is key to understand the risks that waterways, soil, air and towns face, especially given an expanding industry known for generating important volumes of non-natural waste such Dairy (the report links to data estimating that dairy farms in Canterbury produce, on average, 9 tonnes of waste per year, excluding animal remains). 

Continue reading “MfE reports on changes to NZ’s landscapes – Expert reaction

The Latest

Expert Reactions

Artificial pancreas for type 1 diabetics – Expert reaction

An artificial pancreas can help people with type 1 diabetes smooth out blood sugar peaks and troughs, according to a new study.  Artificial pancreas systems which automatically control insulin levels in patients with type 1 diabetes work better than other insulin treatments, according to a new review of medical trials. Type 1 diabetes accounts for around […]

In the News

Interim climate committee announced – In the News

Climate Change Minister James Shaw has announced the members of the Interim Climate Change Committee, which will begin work while the Government sets up a full Commission. Shaw said the independent Climate Change Commission would be set up under the Zero Carbon Act next year, and the interim committee would hand over its work and […]

Reflections On Science

In defence of science and our Treaty – Margreet Vissers

University of Otago’s Associate Dean (research) Professor Margreet Vissers has penned a heartfelt response to a column criticising inclusion of Treaty of Waitangi principles in academic research. An excerpt (read in full): As a research scientist, I reject the notion that we (Western Science) have all the answers. Our current model of the scientific method, […]

Q&As

Fire-fighting foams – Expert Q&A

As a formal investigation continues into the use of certain fire-fighting foams in New Zealand, airports are being identified as still having stocks of the foams, use of which has been restricted since 2006. Fire-fighting foams manufactured with the chemicals PFOS and PFOA were the standard from the 1970s until the early 2000s. Since 2011, no import, manufacture or use of the […]

Copyright 2018 Science Media Centre (New Zealand)

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy