Our Land and Water National Science Challenge
What is Our Land and Water?
Our Land and Water is a National Science Challenge hosted by AgResearch. National Science Challenges are dedicated and designed to break new ground in areas of science that are crucial to New Zealand’s future. In our case, this means, tackling the biggest science-based issues and opportunities facing our country in the area of primary production, and the complex relationship it has with our precious land and water resources.
Enhancing New Zealand’s primary sector production and productivity while maintaining or improving land and water quality is our aim. The vision for Our Land and Water is that New Zealand is world-renowned for integrated and successful land based primary production systems, supported by healthy land and water and capable people. We already have research programmes underway that specifically target our aim and are working towards our future vision.
A fundamental driver in the Challenge is the importance of Māori playing a more active role in the sustainable management and economic development of our land and water resources. This takes shape in a vision mātauranga strategy that is woven into our Challenge’s research programmes.
Why do we need the Challenge?
Did you know that New Zealand currently earns approximately $37 billion from primary sector exports, but that these same products are sold in international markets for an estimated $250 billion? That means we’re missing out on about $213 billion in profit for some of our nation’s best produce. There is also very real potential for water quality limits to impact primary production across the country.
Our Challenge is trying to answer the difficult questions from producers and industry such as: how far can I reduce my environmental footprint and still be profitable? If this footprint is still too much, then what other land uses can I change to and where in the landscape is this most profitable? Furthermore, this needs to be done fast.
For more information on the Challenge and to keep up-to-date with us visit our website – www.ourlandandwater.nz
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