Concern for the Region’s biodiversity loss led to the establishment of the Waikato Biodiversity Forum in 2002. The Forum is made up of representatives from research and management agencies, iwi groups, private landowners and community groups who are interested in enhancing native biodiversity in the Waikato Region.
It provides a link for biodiversity work across the Waikato region and is an independent, non-statutory body that shares a common philosophy of working together to improve biodiversity.
The Forum’s region of interest extends down to the northern slopes of the Tongariro National Park, across to Mōkau on the west coast and up to just north of Port Waikato and includes the Coromandel Peninsula and land west of the Kaimais.
A part-time coordinator manages the Forum’s projects in liaison with a Focus Group. The Focus Group has a broad membership, with representatives drawn from the research and management agencies and community groups who belong to the Forum.
Waikato -a place for our living taonga-where the community values and works collaboratively to protect, enhance and restore indigenous biodiversity.
What We Do
Advice, referral service and networking service
The Forum Coordinator is able to take on any biodiversity protection and enhancement enquiry. If the Coordinator is unable to respond to enquires directly, they will use the extensive Forum network to find the solution or point you in the right direction. We also encourage agencies and groups to network, share ideas and work together to protect and enhance biodiversity.
The Forum produces a quarterly newsletter with articles contributed from members. This is a great opportunity for groups to share their stories with other members and the wider public.
Forum notices and media
The Forum sends out regular biodiversity related email notices and information from members out to the 500 (current) members. Members find this a very effective way to get information to a targeted and captivated audience. The forum also utilises its facebook page, website and external media sources (newspapers etc) to raise awareness of biodiversity groups and issues within or affecting the Waikato region.
We hold two events per year in the Waikato Region. The location of events rotates between the four districts who contribute funding to the Forum (Waikato District, Hamilton City, Waipa and South Waikato District ).These events focus on a biodiversity theme or project that is important to the particular district. Some events are completely field based whilst others are also venue based, offering more structured talks. The main outcomes of the events are to share knowledge and strengthen connections between groups and individuals. These outcomes create real flow on effects which help biodiversity projects in our region become more successful and effective.
The Forum offers at least two free skills and knowledge based workshops per year. Examples of past workshops have included; bats and monitoring, lizards and monitoring, pest management, GPS use and applications and how to successfully fund projects.
The primary funder for the Forum is the Waikato Regional Council. The Department of Conservation as well as Waikato District Council, Hamilton City Council, South Waikato District Council and Waipa District Council also offer generous support.
Join the Forum
Any individual, community group or organisation interested and committed to protecting and restoring biodiversity can be a member of the Forum. It is free to join. You will get an invite to Forum events and receive information on biodiversity workshops, useful biodiversity information, access to other members for sharing knowledge and ideas and help with restoration projects. So contact us and become a member for no cost.