Charity Sustainable Coastlines’ annual ANZ Love Your Water Tour, is a series of native tree planting events across Aotearoa, which sees Sustainable Coastlines working with community members to restore their local awa. This year the mahi will have a strong holistic approach, focusing on the entire ecosystem of the river, protecting biodiversity and the species that live there and enhancing the well-being of the communities that surround it.
This broader ecosystem approach is in response to our modern lifestyle that has seen us become increasingly disconnected from nature and from each other, which is leading to alarming rates of biodiversity loss and having a negative impact on our mental health.
Biodiversity loss is falling more steeply in freshwater ecosystems than in other ecosystems, which is starkly obvious in Aotearoa where 76% of our native freshwater fish are classified as threatened or at risk of extinction. This scale of loss and the constant narrative about the declining state of the environment is leading to ‘eco-anxiety’, as people worry about the fate of our planet and future generations.
But Sustainable Coastlines believes there is hope, by partnering with and supporting local communities to care for their local ecosystem and each other. This not only tackles the problem itself, but also helps to alleviate the sense of futility people can feel in the face of these issues.