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A landscape ecological framework for indigenous regeneration in rural New Zealand-Aotearoa

Landscape and Urban Planning


Practical steps using landscape ecological concepts to better integrate nature and culture within New Zealand's agricultural landscape are proposed. In New Zealand, nature conservation is typically seen as distinct from agri-business, and the two goals are pursued in different places - with nature having steadily retreated from public view and experience. As a result, the New Zealand agricultural landscape is largely exotic, with little to indicate the rich biogeographical history of the land. In contrast, a productive cultural landscape in which indigenous species (and hence biodiversity) are both present and regenerating is projected. Ecological integrity is defined both in terms of life processes and indigenous content. Several examples are presented of spontaneous regeneration of indigenous species within the context of familiar landscape elements such as hedgerows, roadsides, shelterbelts, woodlots, gardens, and riparian margins. In combination, these elements have the potential to create a new landscape, culturally familiar, non-threatening and productive, yet also achieving biodiversity goals. Creation of such transitional landscapes can reinforce a sense of identity with the unique characteristics of New Zealand-Aotearoa, and in the longer term this will transform the way landscapes are perceived, valued and utilised. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Author(s): Meurk, CD; Swaffield, SR

Journal: Landscape and Urban Planning

Year: 2000