Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Guidelines for monitoring land fragmentation


Land is a finite resource. Increasing competition among different land uses including urban, productive and conservation could fragment land such that the resulting units become unsuitable for certain types of activities. Of particular concern are the potential long-term impacts and implications of land fragmentation for New Zealand’s soils resources and productive capacity.

Landcare Research and the Regional Council Land Monitoring Forum partnered on a 2-year Envirolink tools project (Jan 2013 – Feb 2015) to help develop consistent national guidelines for monitoring and reporting the effects of land fragmentation. The project builds on another recent tools project, which developed a landscape classification and analysis support system (LANDCLASS), by developing more specific capabilities to measure and monitor land fragmentation. To accomplish that goal the project had three objectives:

  • review policies and practices that regional councils and others (e.g., city councils, central government, etc.) currently undertake regarding land fragmentation;
  • develop guidelines and associated indicators that will help regional councils and others effectively monitor land fragmentation; and
  • train regional council staff to use the tool and produce a consistent set of first-generation land fragmentation reports for all participating regional councils.

The guidelines are available on this website as well as on the Envirolink website.

Update June 2016

Following numerous inquiries and positive feedback, the example ArcGIS Model Builder models shown in the Appendix 1 of the Guidelines are now available for download for inspection, exploration and adaptation. The zip file contains an ArcGIS 10.2.1 geodatabase (~370 MB in size uncompressed) containing a Toolbox with the models shown in the appendix. The Toolbox and models are provide ‘as-is’ and we can provide no formal support at this time.

Update February 2015

The project finished in February 2015 with the publication of national guidelines for monitoring land fragmentation. Earlier in October 2014 a training workshop was held with regional councils to introduce them to the guidelines and show them examples of how the guidelines could be implemented.

If you want to obtain a working copy of the example ArcGIS Model Builder scripts outlined in the guideline appendices to explore and test, please contact Daniel Rutledge.

Update March 2014

The project has made good progress over the past several months. We completed a survey of regional councils regarding the knowledge, issues, policies and monitoring of land fragmentation. A report summarising the findings of the survey is available below. We are working with a Steering Group of regional council representatives from Auckland, Waikato, and Tasman district councils to develop a draft set of guidelines, indicators and reporting formats for testing and review based on the results of the survey and on-going discussions. We will give a presentation to the 2014 New Zealand Planning Institute Conference in Queenstown in April, and are also currently planning to hold a 1-day workshop in the latter half of 2014 to introduce all regional councils to the guidelines and indicators and provide training.

Update – March 2013

At the recent bi-annual Land Monitoring Forum meeting in Wellington on 15 February 2013, the project team and LMF members formally kicked-off the project, including a brief introductory presentation and discussion, and fine-tuning of a questionnaire about land fragmentation for distribution to regional councils. The questionnaire will help canvas the current state of play with regard to land fragmentation across regional councils, including: perceptions of land fragmentation, and regional policies, plans and monitoring aimed at addressing land fragmentation. The questionnaire is available on-line or as a PDF document.

Downloadable content & links