Deer farmers stand to be counted on joint climate change response

Deer farmers stand to be counted on joint climate change response

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Deer farmers stand to be counted on joint climate change response

Deer Industry NZ stands with other farming sector groups behind He Waka Eke Noa, a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from farming.

Chairman Ian Walker (pictured) says deer farmers pride themselves on their environmental stewardship and quite rightly see themselves as being among the leaders in the field.

“They want to play their part in reducing the impact of their farming operations on the climate, but need the means to do so. The Primary Sector Climate Change Commitment, He Waka Eke Noa, outlines the policies, initiatives and incentives needed to achieve this,” he said.

“Once the tools, the technology and the financial signals are in place, we are confident deer farmers will reduce their emissions and find ways to adapt their farming systems to a changing climate. Improvements in water quality on many deer farms show farmers are quick to adopt technologies they know will work.”

Walker says the commitment centres on a joint action plan involving farmers, government, and Maori. This is based on farmers and growers calculating their emissions and offsets at the farm gate, assessing options to reduce or mitigate their emissions.

“Climate change measures need to sit within a whole farm systems framework. They need to be compatible with animal welfare, fresh water quality, biodiversity protection and of course with the bottom lines of farm businesses,” he says.

 

“The commitment explains extremely well the policies that government needs to put in place for farmers to make these changes. So we are very happy the government has accepted the commitment in good faith and will be working together with farming groups to achieve emissions reductions across the sector.”

Walker says it is important not to play down the major challenges that lie ahead. Farmers will need to learn about and apply technologies and tools which don't yet exist. Deer Industry NZ and the NZDFA will be putting a huge effort into helping deer farmers with this.

He strongly encourages government, officials and lobby groups to use positive language when they talk about the need to reduce emissions.

“Climate change is indeed a crisis that faces all New Zealanders, not just farmers. Blaming other sectors or interest groups for their role in the crisis is not useful.

“As befits a crisis response we need as Kiwis to put aside our politics and prejudices and work together to make the major reductions in emissions that are needed.”

The Primary Sector Climate Change Commitment, He Waka Eke Noa, is here >>