Sustainability - is it really more than just a word?

Sustainability is an encompassing concept that is becoming increasingly more so a ‘way of life,’ or at least one that many try to achieve in varying capacities. 

Within our Food & Fibre sector, the word sustainability can cause murmurs and shuffling of feet, scratching of heads and eyes throwing to the sky. This is not because we are not embracing this concept, but because what often comes with it is a wrath of red tape, legislation, and heavy regulation.

But when the idea of sustainability is broken down, it’s a wonderful thing and an area that our Food & Fibre sector is doing as well as anyone.

In 2015, UN world leaders agreed to 17 Global Goals (officially known as the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs). 

It’s now six years on, and in keeping with the big vision of creating a better world by 2030, (fighting inequality and addressing the urgency of climate change) there is plenty of work to do. It is now up to us as a group who produces the food and fibre for fellow kiwis and those offshore, to work together to build a better future.

For today, we will cast our mind to Goal #15 ‘Life on the land.’ 

Leading a successful life on the land is about allowing that land the best it can be, creating a sustainable environment. It’s about biodiversity and ecosystems, remembering the fact that different land demands varied measures and levels of productivity, needs and purposes. 

Within the SDG Goal #15 is to ‘Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.’ 

In New Zealand this translates to forests, mountains and our wide range of farmland, and keeping in mind how to manage these environments to combat land degradation, drought and desertification, or at the very least to the best that we can.

New Zealand Coast Line

Regenerative agriculture is what it’s all about, and to do our best, we must learn from the best.

PureAdvantage is all about championing the massive current swing towards renewable, zero carbon technologies and sustainable natural resources, in a bid to win the race against time to save the planet. The company as founded in 2011, on the conviction that New Zealand is in a global race for green growth and concluded we cannot afford to slip behind. Click onto the website, and you’ll see panels steering you towards how to do the future better; Regeneration, Net Zero, and more. 

“In 2011, for example, the Global Green Economy Index (GGEI) had New Zealand ranked number one in its assessment of 27 of the world’s leading economies. By 2012, we had slipped to sixth. In 2014, we were ranked 18th among sixty survey countries.” Eek.

PureAdvantage is very much on the same page as the SDG’s when it shares its concern that there has been a strong element of inaction towards ensuring a sustainable future. There is a current focus on forestry, how native forests (O Tātou Ngāhere  - Our Forest) can be integrated into our whenua (people of the land) for everyone’s benefit. It's all about the collaboration with the foresters and scientists of Tane’s Tree Trust, who champion the valuable role our native species can play in the future of forestry. With a focus on the importance of leadership, claiming “we should be a “canny leader”—that is, we should follow where we must, but lead wherever we can. Because by leading on issues that affect us most, we gain disproportionately from finding solutions.”

There is much innovation and leadership happening in the Food & Fibre sector within New Zealand from many groups when it comes to successfully navigating Life on the land. This, coupled with the confidence to go forward knowing there is support from industry peers and Government, will allow for a sustainable future. 

Here at Grass Roots Media we stand by this Global Goal whole heartedly, because focussing on building a quality Life on the Land, which allows for a sustainable future where diversification can flourish, is a value we truely live by!