Te Taiao Collectives – Communities Joining Forces for Ecosystem Restoration

Community-based restoration and regeneration are increasingly common pathways for collective action on interconnected social and environmental issues. As community initiatives gain pace, the need for collaborative efforts that operate at landscape scales has grown. Restoration collectives have emerged as important organisations that aim to connect and support diverse community entities to work together toward shared restoration goals.

This study established a pilot shared learning network called ‘Te Taiao Collectives Network’ to investigate the role and contribution of collectives to landscape-scale restoration in Aotearoa. It also examined the potential for shared learning to support the work of collective leaders. The Network included more than 20 people representing 15 restoration collectives from across the country, and involved a co-design hui, five online wānanga and one in-person wānanga.Value and roles of restoration collectives. The findings of this research demonstrate the diversity of collectives operating in Aotearoa and highlight their important role in supporting and connecting community groups and restoration projects. These organisations are often place-specific but may work within and across regions. We identified six key roles that collectives contribute to community-based restoration:

1. Collectives connect community-based projects and organisations to empower collective action for te taiao.

2. Collectives build relationships between community entities and decision-makers,improving access to information and resources and facilitating joint advocacy for restoration.

3. Collectives champion action in their communities and beyond by raising awareness of local environmental issues and celebrating community successes.

4. Collectives support community initiatives to undertake their practical restoration work more efficiently and effectively.

5. Collectives use adaptive and flexible approaches to bring people together to co-develop plans and visions.

6. Collectives facilitate knowledge sharing and help connect those with expertise with those who need support.

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