Forest & Bird welcomes the launch of New Zealand's first Emissions Reduction Plan, which recognises that nature needs to be at the heart of our climate change response.
"Forest & Bird is heartened the ERP's principles state working with nature is key to solving the climate crisis. It's time to stop thinking about investing in nature as a nice to have. We need to think about it as a positive investment that delivers economic and social returns for our country, communities, and individuals, and sets our country up as a world-leading place to invest, work, and live," says Forest & Bird's Chief Executive Nicola Toki.
“Forest & Bird agrees with Minister Shaw the ERP is an important starting point. The next step must be putting the plan into action with urgency.
“Communities around New Zealand are already playing their part through amazing local environmental initiatives. But these will only take us so far. The Government needs to follow their lead, accelerate work, and embark on large-scale restoration of native ecosystems to store carbon," says Ms Toki.
"Put simply, urgent steps are required to protect and restore native forests; control deer, goats, possums, and tahr; double wetland extent; and protect the carbon stocks in the ocean. The research signalled in the Plan is welcome, but it needs to go hand-in-hand with action.
"The Emissions Reduction Plan also shows that once again agriculture is the elephant in the room. Farming practices account for half of New Zealand's emissions. Bringing agriculture in to the ETS is a necessary and inevitable step. Unfortunately it feels like another opportunity has been missed to provide certainty so that farmers and agribusinesses can plan and prepare.”
Forest & Bird looks forward to seeing how the Government will prioritise nature-based solutions and we welcome the ERP’s commitment to this.