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2022 Forest & Bird | Te reo o te taiao ANNUAL REPORT
Forest & Bird’s 99th year of advocating for te taiao was one of its busiest, a reminder that our role is just as relevant now as it was in 1923 when Captain ‘Val’ Sanderson founded the society.
Aspects of the work are easier now of course. Where Sanderson spent thousands of hours at his typewriter and carried the mail to the post office in a wheelbarrow, we can distribute our information, communications and submissions around the motu at the press of a button.
We rely on our dedicated members and volunteers to achieve our goals. With their help, the Society owns and manages 1,482 hectares of reserves providing opportunities for people to spend time in nature. Restoration work was carried out across 27,394 hectares of land, including the demanding work involved in the checking of 23,916 traps and bait stations in often remote locations across the country. Members and volunteers also spent 9,460 hours in the invaluable task of weeding, to protect our native plants.
Forest & Bird staff held decision makers to account by writing more than 50 national and regional submissions (as well as encouraging thousands of New Zealanders to send in their own submissions) and instigated 13 nationally or regionally significant legal cases. Forty-one media releases were distributed, resulting in 818 stories in national, regional and local media.
A great deal of effort has gone into ensuring our members, volunteers and staff are kept safe and supported, including the appointment of a new branch support advisor. A new approach to risk management was developed which has resulted in a new Forest & Bird Health and Safety Management system.
The Board committed to a mid-term strategy refresh. Work started on assessing and verifying the society’s carbon footprint in an effort to reduce our emissions now and in the future.
The impact of climate change is at the centre of everything we do. Against the backdrop of more devastating climate change-related natural disasters, the society pushed for our leaders and decision makers to do everything possible to address climate change. This has included reminding decision makers and the public that the long-term economy depends on a healthy environment for nature’s intrinsic and lifegiving values.
Activities and advocacy carried out by members and volunteers at our 78 regional and KCC branches, and youth hubs have helped to create and maintain healthy ecosystems where our native flora and fauna can thrive. A huge effort has gone into promoting nature-based solutions, including Making Room for Rivers, Every Wetland Counts and the No New Mines campaigns.
2023 is Forest & Bird’s centennial and work started in earnest on what will be a year-long celebration of this milestone.