A research project focusing on wetland education, which is a joint venture between the University of Waikato and Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, recently received funding of NZD 127,000 from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) Unlocking Curious Minds fund.
The project strives to create a series of multimedia educational (bilingual) resources, based around the research into New Zealand’s wetland ecology and restoration. This is a one-year project scheduled to start in February 2020.
“We don’t want people to look over there and see a swamp, we want them to see the hugely rich biodiversity our wetlands hold and the vital role they play in the ecosystem they sit in,” says Project Manager, Andrea Soanes.
“When you engage people in a really deep and meaningful way you see that lightbulb switch on and it can take their life in a slightly different direction, it builds passion and understanding. That’s what excites me,” Miss Soanes added. Ms Soanes believes this project could help strengthen the relationship between scientists and regional communities, which will aid to the future protection of wetlands.