WelCom June 2019:
Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has welcomed the Environment Aotearoa 2019 report as a further wake-up call to protect the New Zealand and global environment for present and future generations.
Environment Aotearoa 2019, released in April, is a joint report by the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ. The report provides an overview of the state of our environment. The report uses five broad themes and presents nine priority environmental issues, which are examined in detail.
The issues are: our ecosystems and biodiversity; how we use our land; pollution from our activities; how we use our freshwater and marine resources; our changing climate.
‘[The report] provides a comprehensive overview of key areas of concern,’ says Caritas Director Julianne Hickey.
‘It is good to see the report acknowledging the importance of te ao Māori in environmental reporting. However, we consider more work can be done on developing and utilising cultural indicators from te ao Māori (Māori world view).
‘There only appears to be one specific cultural health indicator, relating to freshwater bodies, which can only provide partial coverage for the country at this stage. When we submitted on New Zealand’s environmental reporting in 2015, we were looking forward to more environmental indicators recognising the close relationship Māori have to their land and environment.
‘Through five years of conducting our own State of the Environment reports for Oceania, we have seen the value of integrating traditional ways of monitoring and understanding the environment with scientific understanding.’