BioCapacity Group

BioCapacity Indicators: Biomass (Intrinsic Values and Use Potential) & Soil Carbon

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Constituent assembly for T. Nelson's BioCapacity group

081011; 12am Centre of New Zealand

Group’s founding members:

Kate Steele, Myk Rushton, Mark Fielding, Roslyn Taylor, Claudia Janssen, Helle Janssen. Apologies: Janet Whittington

Biocapacity Vision:

“Town folks have transitioned by accepting responsibility to restore and maintain biocapacity of bio-regions


affected by towns’ resource needs.”

Its implementation driven by action and that:

“Every action (in-action) requires vitality issues (life’s functional integrity) be considered and enhanced.”

Project Priorities Imagine we are in the year 2020. Biocapacity monitoring results just confirmed that Nelson town is on track to achieve the BioCapacity vision as people’s actions restore and maintain Nelson’s biocapacity, achieve ecosystem and community resilience.

We look back and recall the decisions and actions that were taken.

Summary / Main points of action

The 081011 meeting resolved immediate and concurrent priorities towards BioCapacity vision’s implementation as being:


BioCapacity to be easily communicated and understood (head heart hand)

  • Action: Prepare an Abstract.
  • Prepare visuals: graphs, maps (Helle)
  • Pilot project


Recruiting catalysts in the community to reach out and seeking support from:

  • NCC Environmental Policy and Parks to establish pilot project on Council land (with Council funding for Biocapacity workshop) (Katy, Helle)
  • Nelson’s Business community to contribute funding towards regional BioCapacity.
  • Community groups / NCC’s parks and reserves to establish pilot project


Learning continuity:

  • Nelson Polytechnic courses / School curricula:
  • Enhancing Ecosystem functions
  • Ecological Afforestation techniques
  • Appreciative inquiry to:
    • Identify fundamental common goals
    • Differentiate between resources needs and wants.
  • Permanent canopy silviculture techniques
  • Agro-forestry / Permaculture
  • BioChar and Bioenergy generation / application
  • Timber properties and use potential for wood-products


Local Governance NCC policy / science:
Identification of bioregional natural resources, their State, Pressures and our Response.

Existing Groups


Local Government


Permaculture / gardening groups


Sustainable housing


Sustainable business network












Carbon Reduction Reward Scheme


Business and planning decisions are based on human perceptive capability and competitiveness. Resulting focus on short and medium-term outcomes result in:

Generic lack of:




Relevant environmental information


Application of precautionary principle and


Proactive decision-making that provide positive feedback mechanisms at a higher systems’ scale of organization to deliver long-term resilience.

Next meetings:

081103 2 pm: NEC meeting Hon D Parker, Maryan Street. 3pm Scoping Funding Strategy for Biocapacity Pilot project.

081029 2pm: Katy Steele, Helle Janssen at NCC with Parks and Reserves Manager Paul McArthur, Debra Bradley re Synergy-, and Pilot project potential.

0811?? Claudia and Helle Janssen meeting Carolyn Hughes to explore synergies with Carbon Reduction Reward Scheme

TN: BioCapacity group: Date to be announced. Venue: Nelson Japanese gardens


Bioregions or ecoregions: WWF ecologists divide the land surface of the Earth into 867 terrestrial ecoregions. The WWF effort is a synthesis of many previous efforts to define and classify ecoregions. Many consider this classification to be quite decisive, and propose these as stable borders for bioregional democracy initiatives

NZ ecologists defined ecoregions and ecodistricts at a larger scale for New Zealand in the late 1980s, which together with environmental domains for the purpose of biodiversity analysis are proposed to be used as boundaries for biocapacity assessment and reporting.


Minutes for BioCapacity Group

Taken on 13/9/08 at Transition Nelson Launch

The Contact person for this group is Helle Janssen

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Vision for BioCapacity Group in Nelson in 2020

Awareness about ecosystem resilience and bioregional resource limitations (energy and materials) is omnipresent. Any resource management decision at every level of organisation (homegarden to bioregional steering group), first and foremost considers ways to re-establish ecosystem resilience, to mitigate historic and existing resource exploitation (soils' exchange capacity for nutrients and water, forests, timbers etc) and grow resources (multi-purpose, multi-species) for a future...



Please contact Helle Janssen to plan a workshop on the top of the South's biocapacity, (State, Pressures and Response). Workshop venue and date to be announced.


Potential Projects


Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, Results

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Bush Vitality Assessment. Growing Common Futures.

A field-guide donated by the author in support of New Zealand’s Transition Town initiative. NGO / NPO want to see the field guide applied

and invites people associated with, and interested in promoting and actioning the Transition of Towns to visit link,

Use the Bush Vitality order form and type “TRANSITION TOWN” in your delivery address under “COUNTRY”. This waves the nominal book price of $42. To cover handling, packaging and postage costs the author would appreciate a koha of NZ $ 12.

For more ‘Growing Common Futures’ information, see