Pathways to Ecosystem Regeneration

Our teams are aiming to quantify social-ecological linkages for use in managing, protecting and restoring land and water ecosystems.

At A Glance:

Many thousands of New Zealanders put in time and effort to reverse the decline in our biological heritage, but they often face challenges in connecting with one another and scaling up their effort. They also might have to overcome economic, legislative, and organisational barriers to create more sustainable and culturally appropriate environmental stewardship. 

This investment team aims to build social and ecological resilience by restoring connections between people and nature, while understanding and valuing those connections in a non-market way.  We seek to work with communities to develop tools and approaches that reflect their unique needs and contexts, and ultimately support their efforts to scale-up for impact.

Check out our exciting new brochure and learn more about Pathways to Ecosystem Regeneration. Click to download the PDF and share with your community!

Click to download


Dr Joanne Clapcott  

Ngāti Porou 

Cawthron Institute 

Dr Danielle Shanahan 

Zealandia Ecosanctuary, Victoria University of Wellington 


  1. Research that will help clarify pathways and remove barriers for enhanced restoration success, working closely with the Bioheritage Scorecard and Adaptive Governance & Policy teams. 
  2. Supporting co-development of exemplar restoration projects that showcase successful regeneration of mātauranga and bioheritage. 
  3. Identify and develop the tools and approaches needed, such as adaptive management networks, to connect and enhance the success of local regeneration efforts in Aotearoa.  

Upcoming Activities:

  • Connect, build on and find synergies with BioHeritage Tranche 1 projects such as Farming & Nature Conservation.
  • Strengthen connections to aligned research investments, including the Our Land and Water National Science Challenge.
  • Create a stocktake of knowledge on social-ecological linkages. This will be a pivotal start in increasing our understanding of the link between people and te taiao and identifying avenues for focused effort to regenerate biological and cultural heritage.  
  • Post-hoc analysis to identify key values and well-being outcomes following regional-scale environmental change, to focus this work on areas that can amplify impact.
  • Dialogue processes such as semi-structured interviews, context-specific wānanga (or workshops) and on-the-land experiences will be used to explore a range of non-market values that kaitiaki and environmental stewards have with specific ecosystems, biodiversity and/or locations.
  • Interviews with collaborative projects such as Living Water, the Canterbury Waterway Rehabilitation Experiment (CAREX), The Pukaha to Palliser Alliance, and the farmer networks of Farming & Nature Conservation, to identify the needs and co-develop the pathways to connect and amplify localised regeneration efforts.

Research Partners:

  • Cawthron Institute 
  • Zealandia Ecosanctuary 
  • Victoria University of Wellington 
  • Primary industry sectors 
  • People, Cities & Nature research group
  • Canterbury Waterway Rehabilitation Experiment (CAREX)

Updated June 2021

Related Research

back to top