Nature needs us…..
Saturday the 14th September marks the start of Conservation Week here in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Conservation Week is a series of events across the country around a central theme, in 2019 the theme is “Nature Needs Us”….
This year is also the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Conservation Week in this country. Originally started by the Scout movement it was meant to encourage people to think about the natural world which surrounds them. Once people take notice of their natural surrounds they are much more likely to want to preserve them.
Why have Conservation Week?
The Department of Conservation (DOC) is responsible for roughly 40% of the landmass of New Zealand with few staff and on a very constrained budget. They need our assistance to undertake all of the vital tasks required to advance bio-diversity, maintain our back country infrastructure and protect the beauty of our natural world.
|Regenerating forest on Otamahua/Quail Island, 2019…volunteer conservation in action|
Now and into the future we should all be lending our support as DOC will never be in a position to do all these tasks on their own. While local environmental groups such as Regional Councils, Forest and Bird, Queen Elizabeth II National Trust, Native Forest Action, Rod Donald Trust, Permolat and various Aclimatisation/Regeneration/Replanting/Ecological Societies do excellent work they need people power to complete their tasks.
|Biodiversity is the key to our future….|
What is required are volunteers who are willing of give of their skills, experience and time to assist DOC by undertaking such tasks as pest control, replanting schemes, bio-diversity/species conservation and maintenance of our back country huts and tracks.
Otamahua/Quail Island: volunteers from the Quail Island Ecological Society on a planting day
This Conservation Week I would like to encourage everyone to think about nature and if possible volunteer to assist one of the groups doing this valuable work. Even one day of your time can make a dramatic difference and ensure these vital tasks are completed.
Project Janzoon: re-forestation and bio-diversity work in Abel Tasman NP
If volunteering is not your thing take individual action: plant some natives in your garden, undertake a pest control program around your home or set up a bush trap line, carry rubbish out with you from a back country hut. Get out into nature alone or with friends & family and go for a tramp/hike/walk/stroll. Short or long the distance does not matter.
|Nina Valley Restoration Group: Volunteer bio-diversity work in the Lewis Pass Scenic Reserve|
Enjoy nature on her own terms….try going for a walk on a rainy day, it is an interesting and not totally unpleasant experience.
How can I help?
DOC have a full list of Conservation Week events happening around the country on their website. Here some of the Conservation Week events in Christchurch/Canterbury where I live….why not find out what activities are taking place in your part of the country.
Conservation Week 2019 events in Canterbury
There is also a list of activities you can undertake with your family to celebrate Conservation Week.
…do an activity for Conservation Week 2019
Whatever you decide to do have a safe and happy Conservation Week…and remember…
Nature Needs Us!!!