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EIT committed to Hawke’s Bay’s biodiversity

May 23, 2019

The Biodiversity HB – Guardians Committee, front row from left left Dr Amelia McQueen (EIT), Genevieve Bennett, Keiko Hashiba, Troy Duncan, Stephanie Murphy, Kay Griffiths, Matt Brady and back row from left Nathan Burkepile, Ngaio Tiuka, Mark Mitchell, Christine Cheyne.

EIT celebrated the International Day of Biological Diversity together with the team from Biodiversity Hawke’s Bay and 100 supporters. The ceremony held at EIT fell on the one-year anniversary since the launch of the three-year Hawke’s Bay Biodiversity Action Plan.

Guests heard from Hannah Prior, head of programmes for BLAKE (previously the Sir Peter Blake Trust) speak about the role of BLAKE and opportunities for young people through the BLAKE Ambassador Programme and from Kay Griffiths, Chair of the Biodiversity Guardians, before being treated to a waiata presented by Sherwood School students.

EIT were one of the first organisations to join Biodiversity Hawke’s Bay as a Corporate Biodiversity Guardian. The membership contribution goes towards a community fund to be redistributed into various biodiversity actions. The group is made up of organisations, individuals and businesses committed to working together so that Hawke’s Bay’s biodiversity is enhanced, healthy and functioning.

Executive Dean for EIT, Professor Natalie Waran was delighted to host the event as one of the Biodiversity Guardians. “EIT is committed to developing future leaders who are not only experts in their field but also ecologically intelligent. Our support for the objectives of Biodiversity Hawke’s Bay demonstrates recognition of our responsibility for ensuring a nature-rich future for our region.”

As well as EIT’s commitment of funding, various staff members are individual members and will be working closely together to help further biodiversity issues in the region.

“Our biodiversity is under increasing threat and people often feel hopeless. The Action Plan is a guiding document to put strategy into action and protect our precious biodiversity. It’s also important to celebrate success along the way,” said Project Manager, Genevieve Bennett.

With the announcement of the first ever recipients of Biodiversity Hawke’s Bay’s Biodiversity Protection and Enhancement Fund, Kay noted her team is excited to move from the planning into the “doing” phase. “Anyone can join the Guardians and small contributions together make a big difference for biodiversity protection on the ground.”