Climate Change does not respect border; it does not respect who you are - rich and poor, small and big. "Therefore, this is what we call 'global challenges, which requires global solidarity" Ban ki-moon
Lake Hawea Station is home to over 300 species including 10 endemic and 8 native birds. We are trying everything we can to ensure farming is part of the climate and biodiversity crisis solution rather than an ongoing contributor to the extinction of species and the planet's demise. We are also interested in solutions to food security.
In the clear. To sequester more carbon from this world than we emit into it is the single biggest Koha we can make to the world. We have embedded a whole new level of science for climate action. We measure all emissions, including transportation hours, people, and stock. We’ve remapped all our existing and newly planted vegetation to confirm we are moving the dial towards our ultimate goal of 10x climate positive. We must remain accountable, and there is no time to waste ... our planet is in distress. We’ve turned to emerging science that uses remote sensing and artificial intelligence to measure the volume of carbon sequestered from our native forest. In the future, we expect to measure soil and tussock land. We are also actively looking at grass types and seaweed, which will reduce stock methane emissions. These areas will keep moving our climate-positive dial in the right direction. LHS officially brings Carbon Clear products to market. For us, this is exciting but just the first step. We will keep pushing to learn, apply, and do better.
We are proud to be the first Toitū carbon zero certified Farm in New Zealand with Toitū EnviroCare. Our Toitu Certification is for July 2019 - July 2020; we are currently working on our certification documents for 2021 -2023 and will have this publicly available in early 2024.
Lake Hawea Station (LHS) is committed to climate action and transparency in our carbon budgeting. This is a short explainer to share what we are doing to ensure double counting is avoided.
LHS had our carbon position audited by Toitu, revealing 2516.1 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions and 4958 tonnes of sequestration for July 2019-July 2020. LHS has also privately calculated a budget within 5% of these figures. This makes LHS climate-positive; although we received certification from Toitu, they were not able to provide a farm-level climate-positive rating.
LHS aims to sell some of our additional sequestration on the voluntary carbon market and emissions trading scheme via CarbonZ and CarbonCrop. CarbonZ is a company we are involved in that sells native carbon removals to create better biodiversity outcomes. CarbonCrop uses artificial intelligence and remote sensing to measure, monitor and verify carbon sequestration. CarbonCrop provides ongoing monitoring, reporting and assurance of our carbon removals. To avoid double counting, the voluntary carbon credits for sale on CarbonZ registered with CarbonCrop were not included in our carbon sequestration calculation via Toitu. LHS is committed to maintaining our own climate-positive status that we can use for our Carbon Clear brand. So, LHS only sells credits over and above those required to neutralise our emissions.
This is the carbon clear promise - that any wool leaving LHS has complete transparency around its carbon accounting. LHS believes it is very important to be held accountable for our carbon position by open-sourcing our carbon budget. We are currently working with Carbon Canary to open-source all our carbon budgeting from the last four years and should have this available in early 2024. We want to spend the money we would pay auditors to look at our carbon budget on restoration instead while we open-source our carbon accounting - so anyone can hold us accountable.
LHS also believes that it is important to realise carbon neutrality in farming systems is an arbitrary number. Carbon budgets should be measured by comparing the carbon balance of a man-made system with that of the natural system state. For example, a farm with high rainfall and lots of marginal land with considerable regeneration may have a favourable carbon budget (I.E climate positive by sequestering more than they emit), but this sequestration may be considerably less than the natural state of the farm with high native forest cover. Credits should still be given where they are due. However, this is important as NZ farmland was historically a massive carbon sink in Native Forest, so carbon neutrality should not be considered the end goal for all farms. Please feel free to ask any questions on how we are tackling climate change. Stay tuned for more news on climate action in farming!
Links to our Climate Action partners
Temperate Beech Forest and Alpine Tussock & Grasslands
Rare and Endangered Species
There are four key charismatic species on LHS which are classified as rare or endangered that we use as the flagship for biodiveristy on LHS. We are actively involved in monitoring these species with partners such as DoC, Forest and Bird and the Wildlands Study program.
The four species are :
1. Tree Daisy - Oleria Fimbriata
With its habitat described as in serious decline it is believed LHS is one of only a few private Stations where this tree still exists. It is hidden in several steep gullies that face the lake front. The tree can be up to 8 m tall. It has small clusters of white and yellow flowers in January and February.
2. Clutha Flathead Glaxid
This small native freshwater fish is the second most endangered fish in New Zealand. They are classified as ‘Nationally Critical’ with only 12 hectares being the estimated habitat left in New Zealand for these fish. We are lucky enough to have stable populations in the upper reaches of some of our waterways. Some natural waterfalls have kept the Galaxid's enemy — trout away from their habitat. We will be working to protect these habitats and ensure they are kept pristine. They are in quite high alpine areas and have good natural protection from shrubs and regenerating bush that protects the stream. The fish is 10 to 15 cm long and golden in colour with dark brown specs.
3. Native Falcon - Karearea
The native New Zealand Falcon or Karearea is capable of speeds of over 100 km/h and has the ability to catch game twice its own size. With only an estimated 3,000 breeding pairs left in New Zealand, it is described as ‘Threatened - nationally Vulnerable'. On LHS we have a good number of breeding pairs. From the lakefront area to the far corners of the backcountry. Watching them fly at speed is spectacular. They make a gorgeous whistling noise as they swoop overhead at speed.
4. Grand and Otago Skinks
These lizards can grow up to 30 cm long. And classified as ‘Nationally Critically Endangered'. With only 8% of their original habitat existing. A breeding program has been established in Alexandra, however this has yet to breed large enough numbers for release to the wild. We have ongoing monitoring of this population with the help of several volunteer groups. Getting a sighting requires watching rocky outcrops in summer with large amounts of patience and good pair of binoculars. But it can be worth it — with their distinct colourful patterns. The Māori name for skink is Mokomoko.