We believe there is an urgent window of opportunity to DESIGN a constructive and ecologically restorative seaweed sector in Aotearoa and globally. The task is both Large and urgent, in light of an imminently changing climate, ocean acidification, ocean warming as well as habitat destruction. We don’t have the institutions to co-create fundamental systemic and regenerative solutions to these challenges. We believe this can change rapidly, if we work together to uncover regenerative pathways toward high value products.
Investment in seaweed will provide a breakthrough in our climate crisis and has the potential to restore our natural capital. It will provide economically positive returns for iwi, business and individuals only if we remain responsible for our individual and collective consequences. We must protect and restore naturally occurring seaweed, especially kelp forests. We envision ecosystem based approaches, such as marine permaculture.
We are striving to model the sector’s future and validate its systemic impacts and potential to meet the needs of our communities, and our world.
You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
- BUCKMISTER FULLER
Photo credit: Suryo Javi; (c) 2012, Graham Harris
History has shown…
Sectors, industries and businesses rarely set out with the aim to do damage, whether it be ecological, philanthropical or otherwise. It is often the case that many individuals set out with the intention of doing measurable good, just as it is for us in this moment. However, industries often generate varied and broad ranging unintended consequences. In many industries this has lead to the demise and destruction of our NATURAL CAPITAL, OUR CLIMATE and OUR FUTURE
Worldwide, individuals, researchers and businesses are seeing the restorative potential that seaweed holds. New Zealand’s aquaculture sector is expanding and is on the cusp of a new seaweed industry that has the potential to sequester CO2, restore our ocean and provide us with highly nutritious food. We are also at risk of missing the huge opportunities associated with a high value scenario for this sector. Like other sectors before, unintended consequences are brought about by a focus primarily on economic outcomes, driven by domestic and foreign financial investments. We need to be transparent about the whole picture and aim for widely distributed well-being outcomes of this emerging seaweed sector.
With our broad experience in Ecological Economics, Mediated Modelling, Algae and Biotechnology we believe that as a growing, values based group have the ability and passion to explore 'Natural Capitalism’, where the regeneration of our natural capital is the foundation for building a circular, blue bioeconomy. We are inviting you to a platform for building a sector that creates both positive and restorative ecological outcomes for our environment, as well as meaningful jobs from sustainable, financially viable seaweed and algae based businesses. In order to understand the systemic impacts, we need a breadth of stakeholder involvement to scope the potential for a regenerative seaweed sector.
WE BELIEVE THAT SEAWEED IS THE KEY, AND THAT WE HAVE TO DO IT
Photo Credit: Nicole Miller .
To work with the power of seaweed and algae to
Restore our oceans and aquatic ecosystems
provide socially and environmentally responsible business opportunities
measurably contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
use intentional system design and adaptive management to ensure sustainable well-being outcomes
Observe: the need to restore the health of the ocean and the marine ecosystems on which we depend
Analyse: Frame an emerging seaweed sector from a systems perspective for a transition to natural capitalism and a regenerative economy. Scope out the feedback loops and time lags to uncover the most suitable pathways and avoid unintended consequences.
Decide: what are the short, mid and long-term pathways to sequester carbon and sustainably enhance and benefit from ecosystem services; e.g. cultural/spiritual, nutrition/food, feed, fuel, fibre, health
Act: Invite social ecological enterprise with existing and new businesses. drive conducive policy and regulation. provide education and outreach.
Iterate: Monitor progress and seek feedback, providing dynamic adaptation and guidance as the industry grows
Build a network of interested individuals and organisations who share our values or want to engage in a dialogue about aquaculture, marine permaculture, seaweed restoration and cultivation and algae in general. We envision engagement with tangata whenua, business, social ecological enterprises, impact investors, government and research.
Use modelling and visualization in a multi-stakeholder process to scope for pathways for an emerging, regenerative seaweed sector.
Much research is underway and needed. At scoping level, we want to synthesize and share available research ‘for purpose’ and ensure that we understand what information we may expect from research underway as well as research gaps. We wish to better understand the legislative landscape that serves or hinders a regenerative, ecosystem based approach to a seaweed sector.
Integrity aligns actions with personal values. Learning-by-doing through respectful communication and compassion.