Thursday, 27 February 2020 12:21

Demand for better water quality grows

Written by  Peter Burke
Professor Chris Anderson. Professor Chris Anderson.

Public attitudes on environmental issues are driving policy, according to the director of the Farmed Landscapes Research Centre (FLRC) at Massey University.

Speaking at the recent 33rd FLRC annual workshop in Palmerston North, Professor Chris Anderson says it’s clear the public wants clean water. He believes calls for action on this and other environmental issues are coming from a broad cross section of society and are based on the situation in NZ, but also other climate related events overseas – such as the Australian bush fires.

But he says not everyone in society understands the issues.

“We deal a lot with schools and even there you have got some people there who are really environmentally strong and focused. But some haven’t got there yet and haven’t made that change. It is the same when we talk to public bodies – there is a difference of opinion there as well.” 

Anderson says the science to deal with such issues has always been there and that a lot of good science has been done over a long period.

The themes at the workshop were on GHG emissions, nutrient management, water quality and dealing with carbon. Around 230 people – scientists, rural professionals, policy makers from central and local government and number of international speakers attended the three-day workshop. 

The sessions were, by and large, highly technical and showcased some of the projects being undertaken both here and overseas to address the multiplicity of challenges being faced by the agricultural sector to prevent damage to the environment. These also drew attention to new government policies and the targets that are being set for farmers to reduce greenhouse gases and other new policy directives. 

Anderson says these are challenging issues, but science is about responding to those challenges and informing the discussion on them. He says science continues to evolve and respond to challenges and says there is a need for educating those in the primary sector about the new regulations and some of the solutions on offer.

“The FLRC workshop has turned into a forum where we can share new ideas and experiences and get an international perspective from our overseas speakers,” he told Rural News

“It is very exciting because we are attracting a lot more people from overseas and as well the event is acting as a catalyst to putting on other events either side of it.”

More like this

Massey's Wiltshires on show

The interest in the self-shedding Wiltshire sheep has prompted Massey University to run a special field day at their Riverside farm near Masterton on 1 June.

Farm Environment Plan course proves attractive

Massey University is leading the carge to train rural professionals to help farmers to produce Farm Environment Plans (FEPs). It is running a series of courses ranging from introductory through to an advanced course. Peter Burke caught up with the participants at the advanced course at Massey recently.

National

Machinery & Products

Made in NZ... Hansen Products

Made in New Zealand looks at the wealth of design and manufacturing ability we have in this country, producing productive…

New models mark seventh decade

Celebrating its 70th year – and having already released the fifth generation A Series in January – Valtra has just…

Kubota's new autumn offerings

Kubota, which is gaining traction in the agricultural sector with an ever-broadening portfolio, has announced some additions for autumn.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Red blooded

OPINION: Your canine crusader had a good old giggle over the reaction to a recent survey, which found that more…

Ouch!

OPINION: Your old mate was intrigued by a recent ranking of Government ministers' performance in the media of late.

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter