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Adaptation Plan_Photo of Sarah Gilbert and her grandson 12 year old Sam Sutherland at their neighbours Days_Credit Stuff

Adapting to the climate crisis

Conservation area:

Nature will help us cope with climate change, but first we need to help nature. That’s why nature-based solutions must be at the heart of Aotearoa New Zealand’s.

Placing nature at the heart of the Adaptation Plan will help us weather the changes in a way that also restores and protects the natural world that is so important to our cultures and identity.

Why it matters

"Nature is the backbone of our society; whether we realise it or not, we are relying on it every second of every day. Healthy forests and oceans give us oxygen, stable climates allow food production, and freshwater ecosystems give us the water that comes out of our tap."
George Hobson, Forest & Bird Youth, Policy Lead.

Nature can help us adapt to climate change but only if we protect nature first. Native forests, wetlands, dunes, and mangroves can all help defend us from the impact of extreme weather and sea level rise and build carbon reservoirs.

That’s why it’s so important that we ensure Aotearoa New Zealand's Adaptation Plan includes investment in:

  • Protecting and restoring native forests and shrublands (including pest control) to prevent erosion and prevent downstream towns, farms, and infrastructure from flooding.
  • Protecting and restoring coastal dunes and mangroves to safeguard our coasts from storm surges and sea level rise. 
  • Doubling our natural wetlands (by protecting and restoring them) so we can absorb floods.
  • Creating room for rivers to flow naturally to reduce the risk to life, property and biodiversity.
  • Finding ways to rely less on irrigation while still supporting regional economies through nature-based jobs. 

What is Forest & Bird doing?

Forest & Bird is working to make sure nature-based solutions are at the heart of the Government’s adaptation response.

We are already actively improving New Zealand’s resilience to climate change through our nature-based projects across New Zealand. Projects like our Central Otago-Lakes Branch’s journey to carbon zero. To offset the the long-term climate impact of their car travel when involved in pest management, they are creating their own permanent forest “carbon sink” on 2ha of land at Grandview Creek. Otago.

We have also submitted our recommendations as part of the Ministry for the Environment’s draft Adaptation Plan consultation.

What can you do

“This is significant moment in terms of how we see ourselves and our natural world. We need to start thinking about the ecosystem as a whole, because the challenges facing our environment are urgent. Nature doesn’t have the benefit of time for people to be mucking about.” Nicola Toki, Forest & Bird Chief Executive.

  • Join the Forest & Bird whānau
    Become a member today and take practical action to help protect the wildlife and wild places you love.

  • Volunteer to support our regional initiatives 
    Support the work of our regional branches and youth hubs to protect nature so that nature can protect us from the impacts of climate change. Join us to restore our coastal dunes, mangroves, wetlands and forests and help build our communities’ resilience. 

Nature needs your support

Supporting Forest & Bird is one of the best things you can do for New Zealand's environment. We need people like you to support us, so that nature will always have a voice.