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Nature Must Be At The Heart Of Wellington’s Response To The COVID-19 Pandemic.

Forest and Bird Youth Wellington has written to all Councils and Councillors in the Wellington region, urging them to put nature at the heart of their long-term COVID-19 recovery plans.

 On 05/05/2020, the youth-led organisation sent a letter to all Councils and Councillors in the Wellington region, calling on them to make long-term decisions that honour their roles as environmental stewards.

“You owe it to young people and future generations to take this opportunity up, change our planetary trajectory, and build a more prosperous society for both people and nature. Local authorities have a key role to play in ensuring that Aotearoa New Zealand transitions to a more sustainable way of life. Without you taking action now, nationwide transformative change will not be possible.” says the letter.

Forest and Bird Youth Wellington are acutely aware of the economic damage COVID-19 has caused, and will continue to cause. They are, however, adamant that stimulating the economy does not require additional funding of detrimental activities such as road-building, land-clearance for housing and encouragement of extractive industries.

Instead, Forest and Bird Youth Wellington believes in a nature-based economic recovery, and has outlined a range of proposals in its letter. These cover areas of conservation, community, water, housing, waste, transport and iwi partnerships.

“Wellington, along with the rest of New Zealand, relies on our environment” says George Hobson, 16, Forest & Bird Youth’s Campaigns Coordinator.

“Our region 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 our region’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 Wellingtonians.” says Hobson.

Forest & Bird Youth Wellington 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.

A copy of the letter is available to view at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xC7e0r30QJGJPFPQIFNAl0gwjXbVlmuh/view?usp=sharing

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