Finding common ground ‘vital’ conservation volunteers told
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionFinding common ground is vital if we are to overcome the “terrible, negative statistics of species and habitat loss” volunteers attending Saturday’s Restoration Day conference were told.
Date: 24 May 2010
Finding common ground, through ‘Glocalisation’, is vital if we are to overcome the “terrible, negative statistics of species and habitat loss”, around 170 Wellington region conservation volunteers attending Saturday’s Restoration Day conference were told.
Saluting their efforts at the Department of Conservation and Greater Wellington Regional Council hosted conference in Silverstream, keynote speaker David Young explained why he referred to New Zealanders as citizens of an ecosystem in his 2004 book Our Islands, Our Selves.
“Being a citizen of an ecology entails a connection to the earth, a suspension of blind self-interest, a recognition that community is essential to creating healthy individuals, and a realisation that leadership, like coastal defences against the effects of global warning, is soft and resilient like nature and based on peace and compassion.
“It’s about revivifying not only the landscape but participatory democracy,” Mr Young said, highlighting initiatives where landowners, communities, central and local government and iwi were working collectively to restore natural ecosystems, including the Mapua Wetland, near the McKee Domain in Waimea and “the regeneration of the life and water quality of the Ruamahanga” in Wairarapa.
He said Glocalisation – the upside of Globalisation – was a growing international movement connecting with landscape, indigeneity, and what is "precious rare and at risk.
“The world-wide movement of which you are a part provides not only ecological and personal regeneration but purpose, solace and well-being. What you engage in is life affirming, community-orientated and connective of people and species, community and landscape, identity and health.”
Mr Young said restoration and species recovery work in Greater Wellington was now the “biggest game in town” with more than 130 volunteer groups involved.
Looking back, going forward was the theme for this year’s Restoration Day. Coinciding with the International Day of Biodiversity, it was a timely opportunity for volunteers and professionals to learn from the past to gain momentum in their drive to protect and enhance Wellington’s natural environment.
Co-hosted annually by DOC and Greater Wellington, with support from territorial authorities and the New Zealand Ecological Restoration Network (NZERN), Restoration Day offers the region’s ecological restoration groups the chance to learn new skills (such as planning, pest control, plant propagation and monitoring) network, and celebrate the results of their labour.