Forest & Bird Youth calls for investment in nature
Forest & Bird Youth has written to the Prime Minister, joining many other eNGOs in calling for nature to be a top priority for the Government in the recovery from COVID-19.
Right now, New Zealand is facing a public health crisis: COVID-19. This crisis has caused the loss of jobs for many New Zealanders, and meant that the New Zealand economy has taken a serious hit. To recover, New Zealand will require a significant stimulus to the economy, which will need to create many jobs.
“New Zealand relies on our environment” says George Hobson, 16, Forest & Bird Youth’s Campaigns Coordinator.
“Our country depends on nature for resilience, for recreation, for food production and for every other aspect of society.
“A healthy environment is crucial for a healthy population. This is New Zealand’s chance to take action which will allow the environment to be protected and restored, while also ensuring the recovery of our economy and the health of New Zealanders.
“There are huge job opportunities which come with investment in nature, both in the short and long term. We’re calling on the Government to invest in projects which focus on the preservation of nature, while also moving our nation forward. Among other possibilities, this could look like large-scale pest control, development of green infrastructure, and investment in environmentally focused entrepreneurship” says Hobson.
Forest & Bird Youth is an organisation run entirely by 14-25 year olds, and are very conscious of the benefit which an environmentally focused COVID-19 recovery could have for future generations.
“The COVID-19 response needs to invest in infrastructure and jobs that create a clean, green Aotearoa for future generations – and doesn’t leave them with an ecological debt to pay” says Hobson.
“The Coalition Government has promised us environmental action; from reducing greenhouse gas emissions, to cleaning up our waterways and the development of more sustainable transport methods” says Kaya Shlomi, Forest & Bird Youth’s Auckland Co-Coordinator.
“While New Zealanders have seen some action in these areas since the 2017 election, there is now an opportunity for the Government to prove it is serious by progressing projects which focus on the restoration and protection of our environment, while at the same time transitioning to a sustainable economic model.” says Shlomi.
“Protecting nature and allowing it to thrive, alongside implementation of the green economy, is what will carry us out of this crisis.” says Ronan Wallace, Forest & Bird Youth Auckland.