Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust trustee Vince Kerr has recently completed the first stage of a web site project called:
'How to Create a Marine Reserve Proposal'.
From the editor Vince Kerr:
It was a bold project in the sense that there is a lot of uncertainty about everything around getting on with the job of marine conservation, however that doesn't mean we can't continue to support communities out there that do want to get on with it.
The Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust's, Experiencing Marine Reserves program has been operating around New Zealand for more than a decade. The numbers of children, volunteers, teachers and communities inspired by their visit and exploration of a marine reserve runs into 5 figures. We now have ex-students who are co-ordinators teaching others. Many people and many communities out there are motivated to see more marine reserves created along the coast of New Zealand. EMR students create amazing 'action' projects but then have no where to go after their EMR time finishes. We have hundreds of brilliant young people graduating form tertiary studies in marine biology and ecology only to learn there are no jobs in actually doing marine conservation. For a country like New Zealand with such an amazing marine environment these are things that must change. This web site project was born to help those changes along.
The web site has a lot of valuable information, case studies and information from our past marine reserve campaigns. It features in various sections of of the web site 100's of documents that are there to help people prepare for the efforts of the future. There are education resources and an introduction to what's happening overseas. You will discover some great stories if you take the time to dive into it. All documents can be easily downloaded individually or in a zipped folder of selected documents or subject groups.
The project is a beginning rather than an end. I have attempted to present the experience and information from our past in a context of a changing landscape for marine protection planning, involving new approaches to participatory process and regional or sub-regional forums and spatial planning processes. Predicting the future is no easy task nor is understanding what are the useful lessons from the past which can assist us into the future. But we had a go, we made a start. Doing this project has strengthened my belief that there is much to learn from our past experience with marine reserves and that this body of experience and information will indeed be useful going forward.
Now I need to ask a favour of you. Please have a look at the web site. Please get the link and this message out there around New Zealand to those that could use this little resource to help them form their thoughts and goals on this important work and let's plant a seed of action to make it happen for New Zealand's marine environment currently under extreme pressure from 100 years of mining the resource.
I will be editor of the site for at least the next year and welcome comment on what we have done. We also would like to talk to anyone who would like to come on board and contribute to the ongoing development of the site and the concept by contributing editorial content or resources. We have a very modern and easy to use system behind the web site that will easily allow us to get sub-editors up to speed as needed. We are especially keen to
work with people interested from other Regions around the country. As you go through the site you will quickly pick up a Northland bias. This is simply because that is where I live and work, but there is no reason not to emphasise other Regions around the country and tell the stories that need to be told.
Ok enjoy the site and let's get cracking on the network of marine reserves (and/or long term restoration focused Rahui) for New Zealand.
Vince Kerr http://www.howtokit.org.nz/