New Zealand’s primary industries rely on a relatively stable, predictable climate, to maximise the use and productivity of national resources within environmentally sustainable limits and be resilient to adverse climatic and biosecurity events. However, New Zealand’s agriculture and livestock contribute about half New Zealand’s total greenhouse gas emissions. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is working to support the primary sector to reduce the amount of agricultural greenhouse gases it produces, support the expansion of forests where appropriate, and ensure that the sector is both responsive and resilient to a changing climate.
In 2009, the MPI (then the Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry) undertook a baseline study to assess rural land owners' and land managers’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviours related to sustainable land management and climate change issues. Since the 2009 study, there has been an increased focus on issues relating to sustainable land management and climate change.
The aim of this project is to understand the impacts of, and adaptation to, climate change; mitigation of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, and improvements to farming knowledge, practices and infrastructure. As identified in the 2009 survey, and supported through the Sustainable Land Management and Climate Change (SLMACC) research programme which has been active since 2007, three key stages are addressed in this research - adaptation, mitigation and extension.