How and why to do it
I am a biologist and ecologist living with my husband, also a biologist, in a fully sustainable way on a pristine 180 hectares of native bush, the Parangara 'ahu Sanctuary, in Northland, New Zealand. We are both fully dedicated to the conservation of Nature. I recently started running this project of carbon sequestration and ecological restoration , through native forest replanting, weed management, pest control.
This project started in December 2019 with the goal of restoring and protecting a native forest, offsetting carbon emissions, educating to sustainable living in the bush, researching on plant successions and forest ecology.
The bush we live in, Parangara a’hu from the name of the creek crossing it, is made of 20% native primary forest of ancient trees, like kauri, totara, puriri, karaka, kahikatea, matai and more, while the remaining is made of 80 years old regrowth 0f native trees after being logged in the early 1900s.
Our home is a geodesic dome, powered entirely by solar energy. Our organic food garden and orchard are irrigated by the water from the creek in our property carried to the top of the hill by a solar-powered water pump.
My husband Nick is a fishery biologist working as a management consultant. He has been living in this bush in a sustainable manner and has been protecting this piece of Earth for the past 25 years, trapping invasive carnivores and omnivores like possums, rats, weasles, stoats, pigs and wasps in order to preserve native birds and tree roots and foliage. During this time, Nick has seen the bush thrive again and the birds repopulating it. He and a friend started the Charitable trust Tutukaka Land Care Coalition, which has been enhancing the biodiversity of this area of New Zealand. The TLC group has inspired hundreds of other local organizations and activities on pest control and kiwi and forest conservation on a large area of Northland.
Learning from these successes, I was pulled to dive back into nature conservation. I spent 20 years on marine, coral reef and coastal fisheries conservation in remote places on Earth. I quit 10 years ago for having lost the hope in governments to take the right decision for long-term preservation of Nature and resources that support humans. After studying and applying natural health to help people in a direct way, I feel now called back to my first passion: Nature, of which we are integral part.
I have have been worried about anthropogenic effects on Earth and the climate since the late 80s and made appropriate life choices to have the least footprint possible, while teaching about the risks for everyone. Now that obvious effects of global temperature increase and climate change made it to the news, I think it is urgent to take a bigger step than personal Lifestyle. I chose this land to create a CO2 absorbing forest for many to participate in. I hope my call will be listened widely in such hot times of emergency of rapid climate, environmental and biological changes.
This new piece of land is surrounded by preserved bush from different properties. Restoring it to its native richness will create a corridor for birds and would extend the area already dedicated to Nature preservation, beyond dedicating a large area for carbon absorption through photosynthesis.