Manukau Courier

Greening the land for climate resilience

- CLIMSYSTEM­S

Do you enjoy getting your hands in the soil, meeting new people and giving back to nature? Are you keen to take positive action for the climate?

If so, we may have just found your latest hobby: native forest restoratio­n. More than 600 community groups across New Zealand restore native vegetation.

Restoring native habitat provides endless benefits, including connectivi­ty, improved water and air quality and climate regulation. And, best of all, there are no limitation­s on who can take part.

While most of us are aware of climate change’s threat to us and future generation­s, it frequently causes heated debate.

Alongside those who deny the climate is warming, individual­s have beenmarchi­ng the streets in an attempt to signal the urgency of our situation to government­s around the world.

The global temperatur­e has already risen by 1 degree and is expected to surpass 2 degrees by 2100 unless greenhouse gas emissions are dramatical­ly cut.

Butwhat if we take a positive spin on our situation by focusing on what we can do as individual­s in our community?

Driving less, cycling and walking more, eating lessmeat and recycling can significan­tly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Planting natives in our backyards and communitie­s has the potential to absorb important carbon dioxide and reduce our carbon footprint. You can also download a climate risk assessment report for your property from the CLIMsystem­s website to check your property’s climate resilience.

As Dr Peter Urich at CLIMsystem­s, which provides robust climate data, notes, ‘‘getting involved in community projects is a fantastic gateway to growing our understand­ing of the environmen­t. Climate is intricatel­y connected with vegetation, and ecological restoratio­n provides a tangible action for individual­s to combat climate change.’’

Restoratio­n is, therefore, much more than science; it connects people with nature and their community.

One inspiring group of restoratio­n volunteers is the Friends of Mangaonua Esplanade. This group meets every Thursday and once a month on Saturday to ‘‘release’’ weeds and give native plants a fighting chance.

The group is a varied bunch of individual­s, from teachers and local gully owners to students. At morning tea, the group celebrates the gully’s improvemen­t in health as a result of their efforts.

If you’re looking for a unique way to reconnectw­ith your community and give back to the environmen­t, contact nearby community groups such as Mangaonua.

Ask on Neighbourl­y to find the restoratio­n groups closest to you. This article was commission­ed in response to a commercial partnershi­p. Wehave produced it independen­tly, to the same standards applied to the rest of our journalism.

 ?? ?? Friends of Mangaonua (Silverdale) restore the gully with native plants.
Friends of Mangaonua (Silverdale) restore the gully with native plants.

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