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Carbon emission report shows promising results

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

A report detailing carbon emissions at the Te Hōnonga a Iwi Restoring Rosedale Park last year indicates that the initiatives in place to reduce emissions are effective.

The Carbon Inventory Report, prepared by Ekos, showed that almost 50 per cent of the restoration’s carbon emissions in 2022 came from composting organic material on the site.

However, the composting process is part of the carbon cycle, which actually turns weeds into high-quality compost that is used to increase soil health and add carbon back into the soil biome, says project co-ordinator Nicky Shave, from North Harbour Hockey.

“That means we have less soil erosion and quicker canopy cover growth which aids the carbon sequestering process. We are also less likely to have soil exposure or soil loss during storms, so we are returning less carbon to the atmosphere.”

“Our restoration model turns waste into a commodity.”

Increased soil health is promoting better tree survival and growth rates, and changing the structure of the soil at the restoration has ensured the site is more “native friendly” and less accommodating of pest plants.

Nicky says the project team is very grateful to the Natural Environment Defence Foundation which sponsored the carbon emission analysis.

“No other restoration project in New Zealand is measuring its carbon emissions, as far as we are aware. Doing this work is part of our commitment to being transparent and the emission analysis will allow us to identify where we can further reduce our carbon emissions.”

The report confirmed that the initiatives currently in place have been effective in reducing the project’s carbon emissions. These include:

· Student and business volunteers walking to the site wherever possible

· Retaining organic waste on site

· Procuring products and services locally

· Borrowing tools and equipment wherever possible

· Not using chemical sprays or fertilisers

· Getting a water supply from an onsite rainwater system

“If we didn’t do these things, our carbon emissions would be higher.”

The project sequestered half a tonne of carbon through native tree planting in 2022. It has not been possible to measure how much carbon is sequestered through cover crop planting, or how much carbon is being put back into the soil through the management of the restoration.

The project team is happy to share the report with other restoration groups in case they can apply any of the learnings to decrease their own carbon footprint, Nicky says.

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