SPAR is involved with a range of research projects.
The world’s coastal heritage is under severe threat of destruction from a range of natural processes and human activities. One of the most broad-ranging threats is from the impact of sea-level rise, which has averaged about 100 mm a year for the last 250 years. The potential impacts of climate change only add to this threat.
We are working in several regions to provide an assessment of threats and management options. SPAR is currently working with the Department of Conservation, Environment Southland, Te Ao Marama, and Heritage New Zealand on the Southland Coastal Heritage Inventory Project (SCHIP). This project has been running for ten years and is the largest coastal heritage management programme ever carried out in New Zealand.
In the Solomon Islands we work in partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) where we have developed cultural heritage conservation modules that integrate into TNC’s terrestrial and marine biodiversity programmes.
The project is currently focussing on heritage conservation in Arnavon Islands (Solomon Islands) – a conservation region that includes a major turtle hatchery and a rich and vulnerable archaeological record.
The Lawrence Chinese Camp was established during the Otago gold rush of the 1860s and was occupied by a Chinese community servicing the goldfields. By the 1870s the Camp had numerous stores, a hotel, boarding houses, physicians, a butchery, gambling facilities and opium dens.
Since 2005 we have carried out four large, areal excavations on the site. The research at Lawrence aims at understanding the social history of this overseas-Chinese community living on the fringes of a developing province.