Aotearoa New Zealand has unique ecosystems and many of our species are found only here. Our ecological biodiversity is part of our global and national identity and is crucial for our good health, wellbeing and economic success.
Almost one third of our native species are currently at risk of extinction, but reversing this decline is hampered by some basic knowledge gaps: how much do we need to invest in biodiversity? Where should we focus our efforts? What are the most cost-effective options for ecological restoration in different areas? The Eco-index® research programme, funded by NZ’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge, is tackling these knowledge gaps and developing cutting-edge digital tools to inform cost-effective ecological restoration.
The core of the Eco-index® programme is data. The interdisciplinary team have built a database relating to biodiversity that informs their mathematical and spatial analyses. These analyses identify the best bang-for-buck ecological restoration options and the priorities for cost-effective restoration in each catchment. In 2021 the Eco-index® team decided this database needed permanent, secure housing. It was paramount that this space respected Māori Data Sovereignty and be protected by our nation’s laws by keeping the database on-shore. The only logical answer was Catalyst Cloud.