.@NZGreens' proposed $1 billion investment in nature based jobs as part of our #COVID-19 recovery would help ensure native forests, rivers and wetlands thrive, assets that last centuries and suck carbon out of the atmosphere. #Nature #EssentialInfrastructure #Climate pic.twitter.com/zxC35Iug1N
— Eugenie Sage (@EugenieSage) April 25, 2020
We at the @NZGreens are proposing a $1bn package that will ensure clean rivers and streams, thriving birds and wildlife, and regenerated wetlands and bush – all whilst ensuring people have the work they need to provide for their families. 💚 pic.twitter.com/tdnFJsRiSv
— James Shaw (@jamespeshaw) April 26, 2020
As Aotearoa starts focusing on the economic recovery from COVID-19 the Green Party is calling for an economic stimulus package fit for the 21st century that puts people, climate, and nature first with significant investment in nature based jobs.
“An economic response fit for the long term challenges we face as a nation means investing in nature as Aotearoa’s essential infrastructure”, said Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson.
“This will make sure generations now and in the future have healthy streams and rivers. It ensures native birds and wildlife are thriving, and wetlands and bush are regenerated.
The focus on nature based jobs follows the Green Party’s proposal last week for a record investment in rapid electric trains to transform travel between towns and cities across the country.
“We’re proposing a $1 billion package over three years to rapidly scale up investment in people and nature. The proposed package will support local communities, iwi, businesses, NGOs, councils and DOC to employ thousands of people across New Zealand to restore and look after our natural landscapes, native bush, birds, waterways and coast.”
Green Party environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage said the package draws on some great ideas coming from councils, iwi and environmental organisations over the last few weeks for kick starting the economic recovery with jobs that give nature a much needed helping hand.
“Nature based jobs can be started relatively quickly and make use of skilled people who have lost jobs in regions such as Queenstown. An investment of this scale would see a major increase in efforts to turn around water pollution through fencing and planting beside streams, restoring wetlands, and coastal margins; tackling wilding conifers and other plant and weed pests.
“This package would see more native plant nurseries creating jobs growing seedlings and more work with farmers restoring and looking after rivers, estuaries and wetlands. It would see more large scale pest and weed control from wallabies to wildings to reduce their range and help restore the dawn chorus around Aotearoa.
“Investing in nature-based jobs can see meaningful jobs created more quickly than spending on big infrastructure like new motorways. Most of the funding will go directly to employing people – the tools needed for wetland restoration such as spades and seedlings are far cheaper than big excavators and asphalt.
“This investment creates thriving native forests and wetlands, assets that last centuries and suck carbon out of the atmosphere. It will avoid future pest control costs, better buffer coastal areas from sea level rise and provide corridors for birds to come back to neighbourhoods.
“These work opportunities are well suited to those who have worked outdoors such as tourist guides currently out of work, have people and project management skills or who want to quickly retrain and get their hands dirty helping nature.”
Summary of the proposed package:
It's time to think about the type of world we want to create when we come out of this. Last week I spoke to Radio New Zealand about why the future has to be different from the past. We can get things going again, create jobs, AND decarbonise. pic.twitter.com/osxsAtHq1c
— James Shaw (@jamespeshaw) April 26, 2020
An economic stimulus is partly about choice. We can no longer make these choices as if our investments and our values are separate. They're not. Investments reflect our values. We must tackle the climate crisis at the same time as rebuilding our economies. https://t.co/VjA7TNZjEN
— James Shaw (@jamespeshaw) April 23, 2020
This is indeed an unprecedented moment. What we do with it will determine the quality of life for billions of people – not just for the next few months or years, but for the generations to come.