Farming Communities Facing Extreme Weather

Language English
September 15, 2011 7 p.m. local time

© 2007 Flickr/Sandy Austin cc by nc 2.0

The largest city in New Zealand, Auckland is located on a narrow strip of land connecting the cities of Waitemata and Manukau. According to the Auckland Tourism and Visitors Trust, “New Zealand’s indigenous people, the Maori, called this land ‘Tamaki Makau Rau,’ a maiden with 100 lovers. It was a place desired by many and fought over for its riches, including its forested hills, productive volcanic soils and harbors full of seafood.”

Located in an island nation, Auckland is particularly susceptible to sea level rise — as are many of New Zealand’s coastal communities. The small town of Kaeo, north of Auckland, has been flooded so many times in the last few years that residents may have to abandon the town as sea levels continue to rise.

© 2006 Flickr/Phillip Capper cc by 2.0

Agricultural industries — particularly sheep and cattle herding — are at the heart of New Zealand’s economy. In fact, there are more sheep in New Zealand than there are people. As extreme weather events related to climate change become more common, the costs and damages associated with them are also likely to increase. In New Zealand, farmers are learning how to deal with both flooding and drought, and all of the problems that come with them: damaged roads and buildings, loss of stock, soil erosion, and dry conditions that fail to sustain crops.

Presented by Rachel Brown

Rachel Brown is no stranger to the business of saving the planet. As Founder and Chief Executive of the Sustainable Business Network, she heads up the largest national network of businesses committed to sustainable development in New Zealand. She is a pioneer in the sustainable development field with nearly 20 years of experience. Her work in the late 1990s helped introduce New Zealand businesses to the Natural Step framework, a science-based model that helps communities and businesses understand and integrate environmental, social and economic considerations. She’ll be presenting live from her hometown of Auckland in September.

To learn more about this presenter, click here.