Climate Change

Lake Hawea Station is home to over 300 species including 10 endemic and 8 native birds.

Carbon Budget

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. Being carbon positive took a big step forward at LHS this week. We embedded a whole new level of science - for all transportation hours people and stock. We’ve remapped all our vegetation, existing and newly planted to confirm we are moving the dial towards our goal of 10x carbon positive. We must remain accountable and there is no time to waste ... our planet is in distress. We’ve turned to developing science which will measure the volume of carbon sequestered from our regenerative soil, pastures and tussock land. Also grass types and seaweed which will reduce stock methane emissions. Areas which will push our carbon positive dial towards our goal. But today LHS officially brings Carbon Clear products to market !!! For us this is exciting but not good enough. We will keep pushing to learn more, apply more, do better.

Our current carbon status:
SEQUESTRATION 5,131 tonnes
EMISSIONS 2,538 tonnes
BALANCE 2,593 tonnes

We are proud to be announced The first Toitū carbonzero certified Farm in New Zealand
Toitū EnviroCare

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 and the allocation of our emissions and sequestration. LHS had our carbon position audited by Toitu revealing 2516.1 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions and and 4958 tonnes of sequestration for 2020. LHS has also privately calculated a budget within 5% of these figures for 2019 and 2021. This makes LHS carbon positive, although we received a carbon zero certification from Toitu as they were not able to provide a farm level positive rating. LHS however aims to sell some of our additional sequestration on the voluntary carbon market via Carboncrop. The agreement with Carboncrop LHS has signed dictates credits sold via Carboncrop from a designated block can be the only carbon sequestration counted from that block. Therefore we have registered blocks with Carbonz for voluntary carbon credits and we have then taken these blocks out of eligibility for our carbon sequestration calculation via Toitu. However LHS is committed to maintaining our own carbon positive status that we can use for our Carbon clear brand. So LHS only sells credits to Carbonz once we have 3,000 tonnes of sequestration set aside to offset over and above our emissions. This is the carbon clear promise - that any wool leaving LHS is climate positive and has complete transparency around its carbon accounting. LHS is also trialling a methane reducing seaweed which will cut emissions by more which we will include in our in house carbon budget using conservative estimates from Sea Forest. LHS believes it is very important to be held accountable to our carbon position by a third party. We believe rather than paying a company to do this, we can spend this money on impact and open source our carbon accounting - so we can be held accountable by anyone, which is what we have done here so everyone can see our carbon budget. LHS also believes that it is important to realise carbon neutrality in a 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 (as per IPCC 2021). For example a farm with high rainfall and lots of marginal land with considerable regeneration may have a favourable carbon budget (I.E carbon positive by sequestering more than they emit), but this sequestration may be considerably less than the natural state of the farm in forest. 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.

Eco-Region

Temperate Beech Forest and Alpine Tussock & Grasslands

Rare and Endangered Species

There are four key species on LHS which are classified as rare or endangered. 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 fresh water 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 water ways. Some natural water falls have kept the Galaxids 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 re generating bush that protect 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 and has the ability to catch game twice its own size. With only an estimated 5000 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 lake front area to the far corners of the back country. Watching them fly at speed is spectacular. And they make a whilsting noise as they swoop over head 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 habital existing. A breeding program has been established in Alexandra however this has yet to breed large enough numbers for release to the wild. We will be monitoring these populations with the help of Forest & Bird and also Wild lands. To get a sighting require watching rocky out crops in summer with large amounts of patience and good pair of binoculars. But it can be worth it — distinct colourfull patterns mean a Maori term for the skink is Mokomoko.

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