Short - Better Ancestors

Greening the concrete jungle

In California, the Sutro Stewards blend conservation, recreation and the concept of stewardship in an intense urban environment. By mobilising volunteers to build trails, remove invasive species, and grow and establish native plants, a severely degraded ecosystem is being restored. "When you restore the plant communities, you're restoring the base of the foodchain that other animals can participate in. It all starts with the plants," says Ildiko Polony, the director of Sutro Stewards. The story of the area's restoration provides hope that when we make the choice to give our natural spaces more love, we can reverse some of the damage we've done to them.

Documentary - Better Ancestors

The nature of business: how the Begley family's restaurants help protect the environment

Warren Begley and his family run two restaurants in Ōtautahi Christchurch - Tutto Bene and Formaggio's - and they are also passionate environmentalists who support a range of conservation projects in the region. As Begley says, without the natural world, they would have no business, so, in his view, it is the most important stakeholder. The collaboration between the restaurants and the Ōtamahua Quail Island Ecological Restoration Project, which trust chair Ian McClellan says is a small attempt to right the wrongs of the past, is consistent with this ethos of kaitiakitanga or guardianship across time. "We have no right to operate if we can't manage our footprint to the very best of our abilities," Begley says. "My message is think about legacy, think about the future beyond your life, think long-term and find a conservation project that's important to you and support it. The reward will be immense, beyond your imagination. And be ambitious ... The most important thing you can hand on to your children is the natural world - in the same or better condition than you received it."


Candid camera

Environmental groups concerned about the amount of fish being dumped back into the sea by the fishing industry have been asking for cameras to be put on boats for years. While new regulations came into place this year requiring boats to land everything they catch, the industry has resisted the move to place cameras on those boats and those in power have continued to delay the requirement. Without cameras to ensure compliance, we are reliant on self-reported data. And as Barry Torkington, a fisheries strategist and ex-director of Leigh Fisheries says, that self-reported data is not particularly accurate. "All the delays have been red herrings," he says. "There's nothing to invent. There's nothing to test ... It's hard to find a serious fishing nation that hasn't embraced it."  


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