The Sustainable Business Network has been working directly on nature regeneration since 2014. We’ve helped to fund the planting of over 800,000 native plants and trees, working with partners all over the country. In recent years, we’ve funded nature based employment for over 190 people. This is rejuvenating waterways and landscapes and transforming people’s lives.
After the onset of the global pandemic this vital work was supported by $6 million from Department of Conservation’s Kaimahi for Nature fund. This tackled pandemic-driven regional unemployment and the declining health of the nation's waterways and landscapes. We’ve been successful in generating a further $1.7 million from partners over the next five years. This includes major investments from the Milford Foundation, Z Energy and Foundation North. This will help secure our planned programme into the future. But there’s a fantastic opportunity to do more now and capitalise on the previous investment.
Piet Tuinder leads SBN’s nature regeneration work.
“This is work that every member of our network can be proud of,” he says. “The Jobs for Nature funding gave us a huge step up in this work. We have always known this was not intended to go for years into the future, so it was down to us to build out from there. We’ve had a great response to our search for more partners to support this, and we’re on the hunt for more. But we can do more right now. We can hold on to more of the roles we’ve created with our partners, if we can just get more funding coming in.”
Alaina Pomeroy is SBN’s senior project and partnership manager. She works day to day with the various groups we support.
“There are incredible outcomes for nature and communities coming out of this work. These employees are restoring degrading ecosystems, creating habitats for native species and building our resilience to climate change.
“We’ve planned for this moment," she says. "Both SBN and our partners have worked hard through tough times to fill as much of this gap as we can.
"But the reality of this stream of funding coming to an end is sinking in. Groups are meeting with their accountants. They're making tough calls on who they keep on and who they have to let go. These are groups that already run on fumes. They're people who do a lot of extra work unpaid, because they are so passionate about it. It would be so amazing if organisations in our network can step up again. Then we can minimise the losses while we continue to get out there and draw in more funding.
“At this stage, even contributions of a few thousand dollars will make all the difference.”
If you or your business can help, call Alaina now on: 020 4049 3555.