Protecting a little paradise
We need to raise funds to allow us to continue to be effective as an environmental guardian and watchdog in the Cook IslandsInternational
Te Ipukarea Society (TIS) is a proactive non-government environment organisation (NGO) formed to help look after our heritage. Our philosophy is that we do not own our land and marine resources but borrow them from our future generations, and need to pass them on in good condition. We are a collective of individuals who desire a sustainable, healthy and beautiful environment. We are members of IUCN and Birdlife International. We have among our staff and membership well-respected scientists and active campaigners for environmental sustainability. TIS is managed by a voluntary committee who are elected by members, as per our constitution, at our Annual General Meeting. A small number of paid staff, assisted by volunteers, attend the day-to-day running of the Society
For 24 years, Te Ipukarea Society has worked closely with local individuals, schools, the private and government sectors, providing leadership and encouraging innovative, proactive and positive outcomes for environmental problems. Working in biodiversity, waste management, youth, eco-sustainable development and climate change, the Society i covers a wide range of environmental issues.
The Society provides an avenue for the community in situations where they are concerned with development activities that may cause environmental harm but feel they do not have a voice. One example includes our role supporting the Marae Moana marine park, lobbying government for more sustainable fisheries that would add value to the conservation goal. Our main achievement was providing evidence that a ban on commercial fishing out to a 50 nautical mile (90km) exclusion zone for each island would not significantly reduce Government fisheries revenue. We were proved correct, as fisheries revenue has in fact increased substantially in the year since the ban was established. TIS disseminates factual information based on scientific evidence and expert opinion amongst local community groups to ensure people are informed of the facts in order to help encourage Government to make valid decisions.
Tourism is very important to the Cook Islands economy, but also has a significant negative impact on the environment. Recognising this, the Society, with support from Tourism Cook Islands and the Ridge to Reef Project, has started an Eco-certification programme, called 'Mana Tiaki Eco-certification'. The aim is to encourage tourism operators to implement sustainable practices that will support our local community and economy. This includes removing as much plastic from their cleaning and toiletry supplies as possible, providing re-useable water bottles, having non-polluting sewage systems, and using ecosystem-based solutions to foreshore protection.
In addition, the Society is recognised as one of the “invasive battlers” of the Pacific , because of our work in rat eradication projects on Suwarrow. Our experience within this area has resulted in requests from other outer island communities within the Cook Islands to coordinate eradication projects to improve ecosystem recovery and resilience. Outer islands transport is very expensive in the Cook Islands, and our problem is getting funded to do more of this work.
We have also recently campaigned for a 10 year moratorium on sea bed mining, in conjunction with the United Nations decade of Ocean Science. This is to allow sufficient time to better understand the deep sea biodiversity and ecosystem, and the potential impacts that seabed mining could have, and ways this can be mitigated. This stance has not made us particularly popular with Government.
In order to continue to do what we do, we need funding to cover our core costs of rent, communications, and staff. We appreciate anything that you are able to give. Please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any problems making a donation, as we are not sure if this will work in all countries.
Use of funds
The money will be used to help fund core costs of running the organisation, and support our projects in our focal areas of biodiversity conservation, waste management, ecologically sustainable development, youth, and adaptation to climate change.
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This page was created on 25 Jan 2020 and closes on 23 Jan 2022.