The Waimakariri Water Zone Committee Biodiversity Working Group is seeking trustees for an independent community-based Biodiversity Trust that will work collaboratively to improve the local environment. Biodiversity Working Group member Dr Judith Roper-Lindsay says they are seeking people from a variety of age groups and backgrounds to reflect the diverse range of people living in Waimakariri who are interested in the protection, restoration, and development of native biodiversity. “We’re aiming for a collaborative approach and want to create a cohesive Waimakariri Biodiversity Trust where everyone works together to restore and enhance biodiversity so that we can protect and develop our local sustainable indigenous ecosystems. “It’s an inclusive approach which brings together different ways of looking at our biodiversity including Mātauranga Māori. I am really keen to see younger people getting involved, along with people who are living in our towns, lifestyle blocks and farms so that we can really reflect who we are as a community and learn from each other.” Judith says the Trust will take a district-wide approach to indigenous biodiversity protection and restoration with a strong focus on practical actions which will achieve measurable outcomes. “We know there are many people in Waimakariri who want to enhance biodiversity areas in their backyard or in the wider community, but it is difficult to get clear advice on what to plant so we will help locals prepare planting plans and provide guidance on weed and pest management, along with the monitoring and maintenance of these areas.” The Trust aims to employ a coordinator who will help landowners to restore areas of indigenous biodiversity on public and private land by sourcing plants, organising fencing, and planting, and providing access to specialists with expert skills in environmental fields. Facilitating waterway and riparian enhancement projects, especially those located along the plains and coast is another important aspect of the group’s planned work. Funding will be sought from a range of sources including local and national government. Working in tandem with other organisations with similar aims while engaging with schools and community groups is key to ensuring the success of the Trust, says Judith. “Raising awareness of the importance of protecting Waimakariri’s biodiversity is vital. We want to work together with other groups and organisations to provide the best outcome for the future of our natural ecosystems.” If you are interested in applying to become a trustee of the Waimakariri Biodiversity Trust, please email Judith at email@example.com to receive an application pack or to find out more information.