“Ignoring climate change will be the most costly of all possible choices, for us and our children.”
– Peter Ewins, UK Met Office
Our story really begins in 2007, when the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) came out with their fourth assessment on the state of the world’s climate. What they had to say wasn’t good. In fact, it was a shocker:
“Warming of the climate system is unequivocal …”
“Global [greenhouse gas] GHC emissions due to human activities have grown … with an increase of 70% between 1970 and 2004 …”
“Continued GHG emissions at or above current rates would cause further warming and induce many changes in the global climate system … that would … be larger than those observed during the 20th century.”
Al Gore had recently released his movie An Inconvenient Truth, about human-induced climate change. He’d also spoken about the urgent need to look not for a “single magic silver bullet” but rather “silver-buckshot” – we needed multiple solutions to have any chance of affecting the most serious problem facing our world.
The gauntlet had been thrown down.
Partners in crime, Bronwen Wall and Jonathan Kennett, decided to add their buckshot to the mix. They began looking for a block of land that could help sequester carbon dioxide and mitigate climate change. And they realised that the right block of land could have other benefits besides. It could also allow them to:
- restore native forest and enhance native biodiversity
- encourage people to take part in healthy non-motorised recreation, in the form of cycling and walking.
They formed a trust with fellow trustees Simon Johnson and Karyn Burgess. In 2008, the trust found and bought a 48-hectare block of marginal farmland up the Rameka valley, East Takaka. And Project Rameka was formed.
The local community in Golden Bay were quick to add their support. Martin and Marie Langley, from The Quiet Revolution Cycle Shop in Takaka, put the word out and soon organised the Project Rameka Incorporated Society to take on the day-to-day management of the land.
In late 2015, a crowd-funding campaign helped expand the project. An extra 45 hectares were purchased as a result of generous donations from the following backers:
Amanda Dobson, Amy Austin, Andrew Carman, Andrew McLellan & Jo Mackenzie, Andrew Smith, Ann & Phil Kendon, Ann-Louise Metcalfe, BMC MTB Gurran, Brent Morris, Bridget McMillan & Craig Tolson, Bronwen Wall & Jonathan Kennett, Catherine Hill, Catherine Jewett, Charles & Michelle Dawson, Christian Williams, Christopher Bennett, Christopher Dempsey, Dave Rudge & Jenny Cassie, David Halliday, Dean Johansson, Dene Waters, Geoff Plimmer, Ground Effect, Ginny Wood, Guy Trainer & Deborah Morris, HECUA, Helen Scott, Henry Fisher, Janet Holmes, Janne Halonen, Jean Wignall, Jean-Marie O’Donnell, John Kempster, Karyn Burgess, Kate Ford, Kate Potter, The Kennett Brothers, Mandy & Simon Holdstock, Mark & Glenda Allinson, Maryann Nesbitt, Murray Drake, Paul Bruce, Paul Kennett & Michelle Ducat, Paul Nichols, Paul Shepherd, Perrine Gilkison, Peter Leslie, Peter Mcllroy & Janet Hayward, Phaedra Upton, Phil & Sue Shoemack, Raewyn Gainsford & Graeme Lindup, Richie Singleton & Laura McKim, Robert Ashe, Robin Dawson & David Bennett, Robin Quigg, Ruth McDavitt, Shona Drake, Simon Johnson, Simon Kennett, Simon Minto & Bryony Walker, Sonja Mitchell, Stuart Palmer, Tim Galloway, Tim McMains, Tony Baldwin, Vera Burgess
As significant contributors to this second land purchase, Andrew McLellan, Stuart Palmer and Liz Keller came on as trustees.
Project Rameka is owned by the Rameka Forest Restoration Charitable Trust and managed by Project Rameka Incorporated Society.
You are welcome to walk or cycle the tracks on the project. And if you like what we’re doing, feel free to let us know and support us by donating your time, expertise or money to our efforts.