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Forest & Bird welcomes the Government’s Draft national adaptation plan, released today, and supports proposals that place nature at the heart of Aotearoa’s moves to adapt to climate change. 

“Nature will help New Zealanders, and our homes and businesses, cope with the unavoidable impacts of climate change but only if we protect nature first,” Forest & Bird Chief Executive Nicola Toki says. 

“Our native forests, wetlands, sand dunes, and mangroves can play a key role in protecting New Zealanders from some of the impacts of climate change. So, when we look after the homes of our native wildlife, we’re also looking after our own communities. 

“Forest & Bird is pleased the draft plan recognises the importance of nature-based solutions to our country’s climate change challenges. We look forward to working with Government to strengthen and support that approach.” 

Forest & Bird says the final National adaptation plan will need to: 

  • Prevent erosion and protect downstream towns, farms, and infrastructure from flooding by protecting and restoring native forests and shrublands.  
  • Reduce the risk to life and property from flooding by creating room for rivers to flow naturally. 
  • Mitigate flood risk by doubling our natural wetlands. 
  • Protect the coast from storm surges and sea level rise by protecting and restoring coastal dunes and mangroves. 
  • Help farmers shift from relying on irrigation so they become more resilient with increased droughts. 

“Climate change is our biggest challenge as a nation. It is also a unique opportunity to build a more resilient society and improve wellbeing by restoring nature in ways that will help us all thrive well into the future,” Ms Toki says.

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