Lincoln tackles land use issues

by Anonymous Author

A new Lincoln University initiative is responding to the need for new ways of using our land more productively while ensuring New Zealand’s future prosperity and enhancing lives.

The initiative, called Designing Future Productive Landscapes is a multi-disciplinary approach, which could span the university as it seeks to find alternatives to “current and narrow models of land use options and practices”.

Initiative lead, Professor Pablo Gregorini, said these land use options and practices limit not only sustainability and the resilience of landscapes and the agroecosystems embedded within them, but also constrain regeneration of land, environment and culture.

The initiative follows the recommendations of last year’s Transformation Board Report urging Lincoln to deliver positive changes in land, food and ecosystems.

The initiative involves academics from agricultural, landscape and Maori perspectives, and is the first of three to be announced this year.

Its comprehensive research programme involves projects in hill country, dryland and irrigated landscapes.

Professor Gregorini said production landscapes, or te taiao, underpin cultures and prosperity of societies worldwide.

“However, a number of transformations and pressures are affecting landscapes here and around the world, diminishing biodiversity, reducing water and air quality, and accelerating loss of soil and plant biomass, amongst other factors.

“We want to create adaptive agroecosystems to reconnect our landscape, our livestock (agriculture) and ourselves, by restoring broken linkages among plants, herbivores and humans with diets that nourish and satiate, as well as heal our planet,” Professor Gregorini said.

Lincoln University chancellor, Steve Smith, said Lincoln University is uniquely placed to lead this new initiative.

“In addition to the multidisciplinary team, our network of farms allows us to integrate research across a variety of landscapes.”