Community-based approaches for restoring biodiversity in coastal parks

© Shane Orchard
Publicado: 14 Noviembre 2015
Última edición: 30 Septiembre 2020
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The restoration and protection of biodiversity in coastal parks to address dune degradation can provide solutions to other issues. In New Zealand these include protection against coastal hazards, providing culturally important plant fiber resources, and improving the natural character and amenity values of the coastline. The key to securing the best range of benefits is a place-based and community centred approach that first identifies how parks management can assist local communities.


Scale of implementation
Ecosistemas marinos y costeros
Actores locales
Adaptación al cambio climático
Ciencia y investigación
Comunicación y divulgación
Gestión y planificación de áreas protegidas y conservadas
Poblaciones indígenas
Servicios ecosistémicos
Degradación de tierras y bosques
Pérdida de la biodiversidad
Aumento del nivel del mar
Mareas altas (tormentas)
Usos conflictivos / impactos acumulativos
Pérdida de ecosistemas
Especies invasoras
Falta de conciencia del público y de los responsables de la toma de decisiones
Conflicto social y disturbios civiles
Sustainable development goals
ODS 3 - Salud y bienestar
ODS 4 - Educación de calidad
ODS 11 - Ciudades y comunidades sostenibles
ODS 13 - Acción por el clima
ODS 15 - Vida de ecosistemas terrestres
ODS 17 - Alianzas para lograr los objetivos
Aichi targets
Meta 1: Aumento de la sensibilization sobre la biodiversidad
Meta 2: Valores de biodiversidad integrados
Meta 5: Pérdida de hábitat reducida a la mitad o reducida
Meta 9: Especies exóticas invasoras prevenidas y controladas
Meta 10: Ecosistemas vulnerables al cambio
Meta 11: Áreas protegidas y conservadas
Meta 12: Reducir el riesgo de extinción
Meta 14: Los servicios ecosistemicos
Meta 15: Restauración de ecosistemas y resiliencia
Meta 17: Estrategias y planes de acción para la biodiversidad
Meta 19: Intercambio de información y conocimiento


New Zealand | Ōtautahi / Christchurch, New Zealand, Oceania region


In New Zealand, and worldwide, there is an urgent need to conserve the biodiversity of coastal dune ecosystems as a consequence of human development patterns. Methods for dune protection and restoration have been developed but community buy-in is essential to securing lasting gains. Climate change will bring serious new challenges for many dune ecosystems and planning ahead is vital for successful outcomes. Spatial planning and the protected area design have key roles to play.


  • Local community
  • Wider community
  • Tangata whenua (people of the land) – for cultural and traditional values
  • Future generations
  • Native species

¿ Cómo interactúan los building blocks en la solución?

Information availability assists community-based approaches in many ways. At the outset, technical information and access to ‘proven techniques’ can help with project design, confidence and buy-in of participants. Having this available in suitable formats is essential. Capturing information on the progress being made is also important to gauge the success of steps taken and enable adaptive approaches to planning and decision making along the way. Restoring biodiversity in coastal parks to address the problem of historical dune degradation provides an example of where native biodiversity can improve wider socio-ecological functions. However the technical information is by itself not sufficient. Awareness raising and other engagement activities are required to help motivate people to take action away from the status quo. Thus the solution must also involve changing the expectations people have for these areas. Documenting some of the tangible outcomes (eg ‘ecosystem services’) can help by demonstrating the value of the ‘solution’ in practice. This information can reinforce the desirability of the actions being taken to help maintain interest in the project or attract new sources of support.


Monitoring has shown that restoration techniques are effective in re-establishing coastal dunes in New Zealand. Increased abundance and cover of indigenous dune plant species and the persistence of dune landforms are some of the measures of success. At the species level there are several threatened and at-risk species reliant on dunes. At the ecosystem level both ‘active’ and ‘stabilised’ sand dune systems are priorities for protection due to historical declines. Another feature of many New Zealand dune restoration projects has been a community-based approach. At the management level the focus on community involvement has been facilitated by initiatives such as ‘Coastcare’ projects that provide opportunities for public participation. Positive effects of this approach include increasing the awareness and understanding of dune conservation needs, and direct gains for management through volunteer contributions to restoration work.

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Shane Orchard International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

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