Media release: 22 May 2022
An increasing number of New Zealanders are worried about biodiversity loss according to the 2022 Better Futures Report. 40% reported they were concerned, up from 29% the previous year, reflecting the warnings of the scientific community which states that Aotearoa is losing biodiversity at an alarming rate. Addressing these concerns is award-winning charity Sustainable Coastlines, which alongside ANZ, is encouraging all whānau and friends across Aotearoa to take action this World Biodiversity Day (22 May) by signing up to volunteer for the ANZ Love Your Water Planting Series this winter.
World Biodiversity Day was created by the United Nations to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues, which is one of the key aims of the ANZ Love Your Water Planting Series. The series will span two sites in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, and one each in the Waikato, Te Ūpoko o Te Ika a Māui Wellington, and Waitaha Canterbury regions. These riparian planting projects provide Kiwis of all ages the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and lend a helping hand to restore their local waterway and enhance our native biodiversity.
“People protect what they love, which is why our purpose at Sustainable Coastlines is to connect people to nature and inspire change”, says Love Your Water Programme Manager, Dan Downing.
“Through our Love Your Water programme, we support communities in five targeted regions through Aotearoa, to restore and look after their local waterway. Riparian planting is critical work — 94% of rivers in urban areas and 82% of rivers in pastoral farming areas are not suitable for swimming in. Beyond these critical numbers, we know that the Ministry for the Environment has already declared our indigenous biodiversity to be in crisis and with the Ministry of Conservation stating that almost 30% of the country’s terrestrial species are threatened or in risk of extinction — the time to act is now”.
“For us, it’s incredibly encouraging to see that the health of our environment is currently top of mind for Kiwis. We invite everyone to take action this World Biodiversity Day by registering to attend our planting days over winter”.