It was good to get clarification on the breadth of the ramifications of biodiversity. George Perry (the Professor of Environmental Science at Auckland University) emphasised that, while part of biodiversity is the compiling of ‘lists’, the most important aspect is developing an understanding of the interaction and interdependence of species and of understanding the outcomes both environmentally and economically of the loss of function that occurs with the loss of biodiversity.
This meeting between scientists and community environmental volunteers was explained, encouraged and detailed at a seminar on biodiversity and citizen science organised by Trixie Harvey of the Waitakere Ranges Community Network.
Matthew Bloxham, an Auckland Council freshwater ecologist, covered some of the work being done by his team with freshwater streams, including very interesting work on the Piha Stream. For the CoastCare attendees, this was fascinating information that could be an interesting subject for Piha CoastCare to pursue and to disseminate within our community.
The concept of Citizen Science and Bioblitzes was covered by Dr Monica Peters of the Landcare Trust. The partnership of community and scientists that is occurring with a growing number of projects throughout the country is an inspiring development of the mutual benefit that can be achieved by both groups working together to expand environmental knowledge and plan for the future.
Lots of sharing of projects and ideas by the numerous groups quietly working around the Waitakere area is really encouraging. The two CoastCare representatives at the seminar came away full of ideas for future action.