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Seminar to discuss environmental regs and ag


April 19, 2012, Columbus, OH – New Zealand’s regulations on the environmental impacts of agriculture, including a unique “nutrient trading” program between sources of non-point pollution – essentially, between farmers within a watershed – is the topic of free presentation April 20.

Environmental Regulation and Agriculture in New Zealand: Lessons for the U.S. will be presented by Suzie Greenhalgh of Landcare Research in Auckland, New Zealand. The seminar will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Room 333 of Kottman Hall, 2021 Coffey Road on Ohio State University’s main campus. It will also be webcast for anyone not able to attend in person. CLICK HERE to register and receive log-in information for the webinar.

The program is hosted by Ohio State’s Environmental Policy Initiative and the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics (AEDE).

As water quality issues continue to make headlines across the country, states are beginning to scrutinize their water quality policies and looking for ways to handle non-point issues such as agricultural runoff and harmful algal blooms.

New Zealand is the only country that regulates the environmental impacts of agriculture, and this nutrient trading program, which works similarly to carbon trading, could serve as a model for watersheds across the globe, including those in the Great Lakes region.

“With Ohio facing growing water quality problems, we are looking at how other areas have tackled similar problems,” said Brent Sohngen, professor in AEDE who also has appointments with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center and Ohio State University Extension. “The New Zealand program could serve as a case study for reducing nutrient runoff in the Lake Erie watershed.”

Greenhalgh is the portfolio leader for Enhancing Policy Development at Landcare Research, a worldwide leader on agricultural and environmental policy design. She is working on the design and implementation of agricultural nutrient management policies and other environmental markets, and provided expert testimony on the regulations in the Lake Taupo region on New Zealand’s North Island. Prior to joining Landcare Research, she worked at the World Resources Institute, where she developed protocols to implement nutrient trading programs and reverse auctions in the U.S. She holds a doctorate in resource economics from Ohio State and a bachelor’s degree in agricultural science from the University of Queensland, Australia.