A Word from the Mayor: Biodiversity
If I start talking about another National Policy Statement (NPS), or another National Strategy (NS), many people’s eyes may glaze over and many might not read any further.
You may then wake up a little later, either subservient to a new National Policy, and depending on who you are, or where you live, and what land you own, a Policy that seriously affects you, or you may’ve lost the opportunity to influence this Policy more strongly, more in line with your values.
For those still reading, I am referencing the new National ’Biodiversity’ Strategy, and ‘Biodiversity’ Policy.
The Strategy discussion document is out for consultation, and we’ve had a close look at it in a workshop to understand the implications of the issue and how our submission might respond.
The current strategy dates back to 2000 but times have changed and clearly the old strategy is out of date given societies fast changing values and biodiversity understandings.
However, the unusual thing happening is that normally a ‘Strategy’, which is about direction and vision, a moral guide, and owned by everyone, would normally be used to guide the ‘Policy’ development.
Policy is about delivering the Strategy, traditionally using Rules, Regulation, and Compliance, but currently the Government is developing the Policy ahead of the development of the Strategy.
I clearly remember taking part in a failed attempt to develop a Policy in 2010 which experienced difficulty in coming to any consensus nationally.
My only conclusion is that the Government already has in mind what the Policy will look like, and the Strategy, which is more general, can easily be used to support the Government Policy.
What is Biodiversity? Good question, the document attempts to define it, but then confuses with statements about ‘Natural’ and ‘Native’ biodiversity.
It talks about habitat loss, and the loss of endangered species, it talks about clear felling exotic forest, the biodiversity within farmed soils, and pastureland, and references property right; it covers Carbon, unsustainable fishing, and gene editing.
For many of us, a punitive rules based ‘Policy’ will be counterproductive to effective Biodiversity sustainability.
It may pay you to take a close look.