High-tech mapping of New Zealand’s forests, pastures, rivers and cities will result from a research programme announced today by Environment Minister Nick Smith and Science and Innovation Minister Wayne Mapp.
The Government will give $1 million a year over the next four years for the research which uses satellite technology, geospatial mapping techniques and advanced computing power.
“The four-year Land Cover Research Programme will provide vital information about our rural and urban environment for the natural resources sector, regional councils and research organisations to use,” Dr Smith said.
“Using the best in modern technology, we can thoroughly map New Zealand’s changing land use so we can quantify the pressures on water quality and biodiversity.”
Dr Mapp said land cover research is moving forward and needs to apply the best in science and innovation for the sake of New Zealand’s environmental and economic health.
“Up-to-date information about vegetation, water sources and the built environment is critical for the success of natural resource industries such as agriculture and forestry,” Dr Mapp said.
The Land Cover Research Programme will build on the Ministry for the Environment’s Land Use and Carbon Analysis System (LUCAS) developed to report New Zealand’s carbon emissions to the United Nations.
The Land Cover Research Programme will be led by Crown Research Institute Landcare Research, with the involvement of the Ministry for the Environment, the Department of Conservation, the Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry and regional councils.