Carbon in – Oxygen out

With the addition of the new land, Project Rameka is now absorbing 3.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide every day. The total sequestered since the project began in 2008 is approaching 7000 tonnes.

To put that into a personal perspective, the average New Zealander has a carbon footprint of 18 tonnes emitted per annum. Of course, you are not average New Zealanders!

Climate Snapshot

While the scientific reports on climate change remain very serious, since the Paris Climate Talks in December last year there has been a political shift around the globe.

Greenhouse gas levels have risen to record levels and so have global temperatures. 2015 temperatures shot past the record levels of 2014, and now, with the help of El Niño, 2016 is set to be hotter again. Droughts, heatwaves and storms are impacting on food and water security as well as having a massive range of other environmental effects. Just as some countries are particularly unlucky (right now, Zambia, New Mexico, and Australia to name a few), others are very lucky. Perhaps at the top of the latter list is New Zealand, which will be one of the last countries this century to experience an average temperature increase over the notable 2-degree limit.

Possibly that is one reason why New Zealand continues to lag behind most other countries when it comes to introducing effective policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But we live in a globalised world, and change, both of the climate and our government’s policies, can only lag so far. Meanwhile, at Project Rameka we will continue to Make Good Shit Happen!

Trees

Last August, we had another great tree planting week, with 600 native species planted in their new homes. These include northern rata from DOC as well as lemonwood, kohuhu, beech, kaka beak, rimu and miro. It’s great to report that these trees are flourishing at Project Rameka!

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Come along and join us for the 2016 tree planting. You would be most welcome.

We will be meeting at 10am on the 20 and 21 August at the top entrance to Project Rameka, which is on Rameka Creek Road, approximately 10 km from Takaka township.

Rameka Campaign Success

On Christmas Eve 2015, after a long campaign involving fundraising, negotiations and legal approvals, 45 hectares of land was added to Project Rameka, almost doubling the area under protection (now 98 hectares).

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The results are an increase in carbon dioxide being sequestered, a broader range of native species under protection and eventually the reopening of a spectacular 3 km section of the historic Rameka Track.

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Pete Simm leads people to the new land, which is in the background of this photo.

On behalf of the Project Rameka committee, we would like to thank the 60 people, from as far afield as Christchurch and Auckland, who chipped in and made the land purchase possible. Your generosity has resulted in environmental and recreation benefits that will last well beyond your lifetimes.

The generous supporters are:
Amanda Dobson,
Amy Austin,
Andrew Carman,
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,
Evan McCarney & Liz Keller,
Geoff Plimmer,
Ginny Wood,
Ground Effect,
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,
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,
The Kennett Brothers,
Simon Kennett,
Simon Minto & Bryony Walker,
Sonja Mitchell,
Stuart Palmer,
Tim Galloway,
Tim McMains,
Tony Baldwin, and
Vera Burgess.

Carbon Sink book launched!

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Last Monday a guide book to forest carbon sinks called The Carbon Forest was launched in Wellington. Rod Oram was the key speaker, and explained brilliantly how forests are important for sustainable land use (ie, preventing top soil loss) and New Zealand’s Kyoto obligations. Rod described The Carbon Forest book as “An ‘owner’s manual’ that will prove invaluable for people who want to use forestry to improve the economic and environmental performance of their land.”

 

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Simon Johnson, Paul Kennett, Jonathan Kennett, Rod Oram, and Tom Bennion.

The idea for the book came from Paul Kennett, who, after reducing his annual carbon footprint to one tonne, was then looking at ways of offsetting the rest. Forest carbon sinks appealed, and so he started researching the possibilities. Jonathan Kennett and Simon Johnson, from Project Rameka, are both co-authors, along with environmental lawyer Tom Bennion.

Project Rameka is among several case studies that are used to show the broad range of carbon sinks in New Zealand.

The book can be purchased for $30 from www.kennett.co.nz or from independent book stores.

Conservation Vacation

Christmas is always a busy time in Golden Bay, and Project Rameka was no exception. Rather than laze around on the beach, several Wellingtonians based themselves at the Lorax Lair and worked away on tracks, traps and trees. They were joined by several local stalwarts on the 21st for a cracker BBQ and treasure hunt. It was a great opportunity for everyone to catch up and find out what has been happening.

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The first obvious thing was that the verandah was finished. It rained a few times over Christmas and the extra shelter made a big difference. Thanks to Andy Cole for leading that project and doing such a creative job, and also thanks to Simon and Sarah for paying for the materials.

The second obvious thing, related to the rain, was that the trees are growing incredibly well and that means an estimated 100 tonnes of CO2 have been drawn out of the atmosphere by Project Rameka since it began in April 2008. It also meant there has been, was, and will be lots of weeding to do to stop the native seedlings being swamped. Thanks to those that have been pulling out the grass from around the small trees.

Also obvious was the damage done to both tracks and naturally regenerating seedlings under the pines by wild pigs. Luckily Rameka resident Reagan and local legend Matt have shot ten of them in the last fortnight! Well done guys.

Another pest which is not so obvious is the natural killer, Mr Stoat. With funds from Greg Thurlow and Andrew McLellan we now have 24 stoat traps, and Andrew spent some of his holidays building boxes and setting them up around the block.

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Access for recreation and conservation is via the ever expanding track network. The good folks at the Quiet Revolution have been organising work parties on Wednesday nights and the main track has progressed well. Jonathan and Bronnie managed to mark and partially dig another 200 metres over Christmas and Ricky and Patrick from Takaka have, according to rumours, been doing some awesome work of late. Can’t wait to see it! According to local mountain biker Seamus it rides fast and smooth.

Another good job was completed at the Lorax Lair. With funds from Kate and Jo, and spare parts from Martin, we were able to put up guttering and spouting to collect rain water into a 200 litre tank. That gives us a two water supplies, so we shouldn’t run out now. Thanks to Martin, who has bought a lot of water up to the Lorax Lair over the last 8 months.

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Also thanks to Anne-Marie, Jock Flemming and others who have donated money or time to the project. It really does run on the smell of an oily rag and so your contributions are very effective towards achieving enhanced conservation and recreation in the Rameka Valley.

Simon Johnson, a Rameka Trustee, has also been busy. He recently registered the Rameka Trust with the Emissions Unit Register (Ministry of Economic Development). This is the first step towards carbon trading, but as the new government has shelved the ETS things are a little up in the air. Hopefully our chosen representatives will get their heads around Climate Change soon and progress can be made, both at Rameka and around the country.