A MESSAGE FROM OUR PATRON
Private conservation initiatives like the Forest Lifeforce Restoration Trust are a vital part of New Zealand’s ecological fight-back.
While we’re perceived internationally as being clean and green, a country of magnificent vistas and immense natural beauty, the bitter irony is that so much of our native flora and fauna is at risk. That we’re in danger of losing the very bird we’re so commonly named after, and that our grand-children may never see a kiwi or a kakapo, is terribly sad.
So much of our native forest has had the soul ripped out of it through generations of neglect or commercial exploitation. The same is happening in forests on every continent right around the world and we’re not immune.
But this Trust is at the forefront of a growing move across the country to help restore that soul. That indefinable energy or lifeforce of a forest that is alive and functioning properly, as nature intended.
What I love about what Simon, Pete and the team are doing is that it’s a great mix of typically sensible, grounded Kiwi stuff, and leading-edge innovation applied to pretty much everything they do. Their work with DOC and various research partners looks set to revolutionise important aspects of conservation and wildlife management in New Zealand.
Their work is about collaboration. Working in partnership with conservation organisations around the country. Research. Ecological education. And about encouraging respect for our forests as the special places they should be, once were and, hopefully, will be again.
The other thing that struck me about this Trust, and which persuaded me to become involved, was the sheer breadth of what it’s doing. It’s not all about kiwi. It’s not even all about fauna. There’s some amazing work going on around restoring viable populations of some very special plants, too. And the scale of the private forest conversion project, returning some 4,000 hectares of pine to native forest, is mind-boggling.
So it’s with tremendous pride – and a healthy dose of trepidation - that I accepted the very great honour and responsibility of becoming Patron of the Forest Lifeforce Restoration Trust.
Thank you for your interest. I hope that, together, we can make a difference and help ensure that this generation is the one that pulls our native flora and fauna back from the brink.