Dear Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern,
Wetlands are climate heroes – they can store large amounts of carbon and help keep us safe from floods and storm surges.
But only 10% of our wetlands remain, and they continue to be threatened by agriculture, urban development, mining, quarrying, and landfills.
We ask that you:
- Restore wetlands – Double the extent of natural wetlands by 2050, with interim goals.
- Make a plan – Establish and implement an Aotearoa Wetland Protection and Restoration Plan for carbon sequestration and the mitigation of climate change effects with ambitious, measurable, and enforceable regional targets.
- Fund restoration – Provide $100 million of additional government funding in the next four years to establish seed funding for new wetland restoration and paludiculture trials.
- Provide good information – Map current and historical mangrove, salt marsh, and sea grass extent by 2030.
- Hold businesses to account – Require land managers to account for drained wetlands in the Emissions Trading Scheme, and protect and restore wetlands as emission reduction mechanisms in Farm Environment Plans.
- Stop current destruction – Ensure existing regulations preventing the destruction of wetlands by agriculture, urban development, mining, quarrying, and landfills are not watered down – and are properly enforced.
With the climate already changing, time is precious and work must start now – we ask that your Government pledge to double the wetlands.