Restoration opportunities assessment for the Avon Ōtākaro Red Zone using a local knowledge approach
Following the Canterbury earthquake sequence of 2010-11, a large and contiguous tract of vacated ‘red zoned’ land lies alongside the lower Ōtākaro / Avon River and is known as the Avon-Ōtākaro Red Zone (AORZ). This is the second report in the Ecological Regeneration Options (ERO) project that addresses future land uses in the AORZ.
The purpose of this report is to present results from an assessment of restoration opportunities conducted in April 2017. The objectives of the assessment were to identify potential benefits of ecological restoration activities across both land and water systems in the AORZ and characterise the key options for their implementation. The focus of this report is not to provide specific advice on the methods for achieving specific restoration endpoints per se. This will vary at different sites and scales with a large number of combinations possible. Rather, the emphasis is on providing an overview of the many restoration and regeneration options in their totality across the AORZ. An additional objective is to support their adequate assessment in the identification of optimum land uses and adaptive management practices for the AORZ.
Participatory processes may play a useful role in assessment and stakeholder engagement by providing opportunities for social learning and the co-creation of new knowledge. We used a facilitated local knowledge based approach that generated a large quantity of reliable and site specific data in a short period of time. By inviting participation from a wide knowledge-holder network inclusivity is improved in comparison to small-group expert panel approaches. Similar approaches could be applied to other information gathering and assessment needs in the regeneration planning process.
Findings from this study represent the most comprehensive set of concepts available to date to address the potential benefits of ecological regeneration in the AORZ. This is a core topic for planning to avoid missed opportunities and opportunity costs. The results identify a wide range of activities that may be applied to generate benefits for Christchurch and beyond, all involving aspects of a potential new ecology in the AORZ. These may be combined at a range of scales to create scenarios, quantify benefits, and explore the potential for synergies between different land use options.
A particular challenge is acquiring the information needed within relatively short time frames. Early attention to gathering baseline data, addressing technical knowledge gaps, and developing conceptual frameworks to account for the many spatio-temporal aspects are all key activities that will assist in delivering the best outcomes. Methodologies by which these many facets can be pulled together in quantitative and comparative assessments are the focus of the final report in the ERO series.
- Reports