Media Statement: EDS launches Pathways to Prosperity

EDS staff, members and supporters gathered last evening at Bell Gully, Auckland for the launch, by Director-General of Conservation, Lou Sanson, of its latest publication Pathways to Prosperity

Pathways to Prosperity is a follow-up publication to Vanishing Nature and focuses on how to better safeguard biodiversity in development. It was written by Senior Policy Analyst, Dr Marie Brown.

“Biodiversity is at its most vulnerable in a development context where there’s an acute contest between economic and environmental aspirations. We wanted to focus on that area of policy and practice and develop some ideas on how to improve business as usual,” said Dr Brown.

“The book is the product of lots of domestic and international research, and we think we’ve devised a package of ideas that will put us on the path toward a more prosperous future with thriving ecosystems and a robust economy.

Pathways recommends a range of improvements at various scales from the improved use of bonds under the Resource Management Act 1991 and the increased use of outcome-based conditions through to a National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity and more effective planning at a strategic level. It will be of particular interest to resource managers, developers, council officials and environmental groups.

“We don’t plan our roading system on a metre by metre basis, nor should we need to fight piecemeal for the protection of our ecological infrastructure,” says Dr Brown.

“It’s hugely draining and largely falls to the NGO sector. Ad hoc biodiversity protection has failed to address cumulative effects over time, leaving our flora and fauna in a perilous state.

Pathways to Prosperity is not without disruptive ideas and recommends working towards the establishment of  a civil-society led biodiversity banking system and the use of safe harbour agreements as an alternative to regulation of some land use activities.

EDS CEO Gary Taylor says that the launch was well attended by a range of EDS members, supporters and resource management professionals.

“We are very grateful for the sponsorship support for the project from the New Zealand Law Foundation, DOC, MPI and the T-Gear Trust and Bell Gully for hosting the event,” Mr Taylor concluded.

You can purchase a copy of the new report, here.

Download full statement (pdf)

Last updated at 10:18AM on March 1, 2016