The purpose of the draft strategy, which is an initiative from the Sustainable City Strategy, is to increase the health and extent of biodiversity in Palmerston North.
Palmerston North City Council policy planner, Michael Duindam, says historically biodiversity loss has had a huge impact on Palmerston North.
"Since human settlement, Palmerston North has undergone massive changes. Forests have been almost entirely cleared and wetlands have either been filled or significantly degraded to allow for farming and urban development. With this loss of habitat has come a dramatic loss in birds, insects and fish."
Michael Duindam says that despite the poor state of biodiversity in Palmerston North, some impressive efforts have been made to increase planting and protect what is left. "The Green Corridors project, for example, has seen over 120,000 eco-sourced native trees planted along the Turitea Stream and Summer Hill over the past 10 years."
He says there are four drivers in the draft strategy that seek to improve biodiversity:
• Pest Control
• Promotion; and
• Protection and restoration.
Michael Duindam says the 'Four Ps' contain a range of actions which aim to achieve an increase in the health and extent of Biodiversity in Palmerston North. The actions are not exclusive to Council, recognising that for meaningful improvements to be made, a community-wide effort will be needed.
He says the draft strategy was written in consultation with Environment Network Manawatū, Department of Conservation, Horizon's Regional Council, Tanenuiarangi Manawatū, Landcare Trust and some dairy and sheep farmers in the Ashhurst/Bunnythorpe Road area.
"Now we're really keen to hear from residents in both rural and suburban Palmerston North as well as from interest groups to ensure the strategy takes into account their aspirations."
The full Draft Biodiversity Strategy and details on how to make a submission can be found at pncc.govt.nz or you can pick up a copy from any Council library or Council's front of house - Square-side.
Submissions close on 5 July 2013.