BioHeritage Eco-index

New Zealanders value their unique natural environments, but national and regional reporting shows that Aotearoa’s native biodiversity is degraded and under continued threat.

A better approach is needed, and indeed possible, to restore ngā taonga katoa o te ao tūroa (our natural heritage).



A novel approach to investing in biodiversity restoration

To determine what actions are needed, we are building a national Eco-index. This initiative is linking current investment in biodiversity by major land management sectors with the outcome being achieved. It will identify the best ways to direct actions – by the public and private sectors and by communities – in order to reverse biodiversity decline. It will guide land managers toward incremental actions that can cumulatively create intergenerational impact and reverse biodiversity decline in Aotearoa New Zealand.

In time, the Eco-index will indicate our country’s biodiversity performance, much like GDP indicates economic performance.

“Biodiversity is our most valuable but least appreciated resource.”

Edward O. Wilson. In ‘Unmined Riches’, The Diversity of Life (1992), 281.

Co-leads:

Dr John Reid 

Ngāti Pikiao, Tainui

J D Reid LTD


Dr Kiri Joy Wallace  

University of Waikato 


Team members:

Dr Jay Whitehead

Indicator Specialist & Environmental Economist

AgriBusiness Group

Ngāti Māmoe and Ngāi Tahu


Catherine Kirby

Communication & Relationships Manager

Entelea Scicom Ltd


Monique Hall

Research Assistant

University of Waikato


Projects:

We are currently working on:

  1. 100-year bicultural vision that sets a national benchmark for flourishing native biodiversity.
  2. Methodology for measuring biodiversity restoration action by land managers in Aotearoa and the outcome it is achieving.
  3. Linking in with groups, organisations and agencies that are collecting data that will strengthen our mahi.

Learn more about us:

For a more detailed explanation of the Eco-index programme, check out Dr Jay Whitehead’s witty keynote presentation below. He explains how our mahi fits in the wider landscape of biodiversity protection and restoration in Aotearoa. Presented at the National Freshwater Conference, 17-18 February 2021, Te Wharewaka o Poneke, Wellington.


Upcoming Activities:

  • Finalise methodology for the development of a national Eco-index
  • Develop data infrastructure for Eco-index development
  • Run an Eco-index prototype to test methodology and data infrastructure

Research Partners:

  • University of Waikato 
  • People, Cities & Nature research group
  • University of Canterbury 
  • Companies within the farm and forestry industries
  • Banks
  • Iwi and hapū
  • Environmental, social and governance accounting organisations
  • Environmental NGOs
  • Urban residents and communities

Updated March 2021


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