Forest & Bird Charity Profile

Forest & Bird logo

Background:

  • Charity name: Forest & Bird
  • Charity partner since: 2018

Why we support this charity

Protecting trees is one of BioPak’s primary objectives, and so important for world health – they are the biggest plants on the planet, they give us oxygen, store carbon, stabilise soil and support the world’s wildlife. BioPak is proud to support Forest & Bird’s campaign to stop the spread of kauri dieback disease which causes the kauri tree, an ancient and spiritual tree native to New Zealand, to starve.

About the charity

Forest & Bird is the voice for nature, working to protect and restore Aotearoa's wild places and the wildlife that call them home. Since 1923, Forest & Bird has played a crucial role in preserving New Zealand’s environment and native species. They've helped establish conservation protection for a third of New Zealand’s landmass and put an end to logging publicly-owned native forests.

Forest & Bird is campaigning for urgent and drastic changes to the national Kauri Dieback Programme. To name a few initiatives they are calling for changes to be made to the way the Kauri Dieback Programme is run, for instance through the establishment of an independent National Pest Management agency, governed with representation from community experts, science, environmental groups, and relevant government agencies. They are also calling for the total closure of all forests with healthy kauri and the control of feral pigs and other introduced mammals – to slow and prevent the spread of the disease. Forest & Bird are also advocating for an urgent focus on research – in particular, a cure for the disease.

About their cause

Kauri trees are found amongst other native trees throughout the Upper North Island (NZ). 

There is a very good reason why the Kauri Coast and Waipoua Forest is called ‘ancient’ – it is home to trees which have been living for 2,000-3,000 years. These iconic trees have really stood the test of time and today are mighty giants which have a special place in Maori culture.

Tane Mahuta is the largest known Kauri in the world, it is an internationally renowned icon called the ‘Spiritual God of the Forest’ and is estimated to be at least 2,000 years old.

But unfortunately, kauri dieback disease is threatening these trees with extinction and to date, there is no cure for it. It is an incurable, fatal disease caused by a microscopic spore that attacks the roots and trunk of kauri trees, damaging the tissue that carries nutrients, and causing them to starve. If we lose kauri, we will lose these species too. Kauri is a keystone species and creates a unique acidic soil type called a kauri podsol. At least 17 other species depend entirely on kauri and this soil type in order to survive.

Our impact

Together with our customers, we are able to support Forest & Bird in preserving the Waipoua Forest which is vital to New Zealand’s land and wildlife. Through our networks we will help raise awareness for protecting this pristine environment and our donations will significantly increase the effectiveness of the wonderful work of Forest & Bird to support the health of the kauri tree and therefore the planet.

Forest and Bird have received 1% of profits in New Zealand which has contributed to the protection of Forest and Bird’s seven owned and managed reserves containing kauri, covering nearly 250 hectares. In 2018, they had a big win, by closing their kauri reserves which will prevent the spread of the disease, and protect the trees while scientists work to find a solution. 

Because of ongoing advocacy and awareness-raising with government and the public, other regional parks with outcrops of Kauri have also been closed, and the NZ government has agreed to invest into new research for tackling deadly tree diseases.

“We are thrilled to receive financial support from BioPak for this important conservation project,” says Jo Prestwood, Sponsorships Manager, Forest & Bird.