Commemorative booklet celebrates a decade of climate change research

A booklet celebrating 150 climate change research projects across ten years was launched by Damian O'Connor in Wellington yesterday.

Investing in Tomorrow showcases the exhaustive work of the government's Sustainable Land Management and Climate Change (SLMACC) research programme, described as having "played an important role in helping researchers, government and farmers better understand, adapt to and mitigate climate change effects in New Zealand’s primary sectors."

Established in 2007 under the previous Labour government, and funded by MPI, the SLMACC has invested $50 million toward a range of initiatives, divided across four key categories: adaptation, forestry, mitigation, and technology transfer.

O'Connor voiced his praise of the programme's ongoing work which has established New Zealand as a key player in the global fight against climate change:

"It is work like this that gives me the opportunity to show New Zealand’s international leadership in climate-friendly agriculture, including at the first Global Research Alliance Conference on Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Food Security in Berlin next week. A warming planet means we must diversify our economy while working in partnership with our primary sectors to make the most of our competitive advantage – precious soils, access to freshwater and a temperate climate."

Much of the SLMACC's recent work has centered around limiting emissions, a key point of research as the nation transitions toward a 'zero-carbon by 2050' economy.

O'Connor commended the "excellent building blocks" the research has layed for a future he hopes will move "towards a more valuable, productive and sustainable primary sector – and away from a reliance on volume growth of commodities at the expense of our natural resources".

“This knowledge stems from some of the brightest and best of our primary sector scientists", O'Connor said, "and is a milestone worthy of acknowledgment today”.