Coming back from the brink

a kiwi bird road sign next to a road going through the countryside

Did you know more than 40,000 species are threatened with extinction? 

On World Biodiversity Day, May 22, the theme—from agreement to action: build back biodiversity—looks to highlight this issue, and call people to action to mitigate the threat of extinction.

On the face of it, it may feel difficult to understand how we can be involved in biodiversity regeneration. However, after a little digging it is quickly evident that there are many interesting community–driven projects underway aiming to solve this critical issue. These initiatives provide a practical opportunity to get involved and help in building back biodiversity in our local areas.

A great example is the Whakatāne Kiwi Trust in New Zealand. Kiwi are native to NZ, and these precious flightless fellows are a threatened population due pest predators, habitat loss and their fragmented populations. The Trust delivers a programme to help grow the Kiwi population in the region, through providing predator trapping, kiwi monitoring, education, public events and fundraising. If you happen to reside in the Whakatane area, you can find out more about volunteering here

A kiwi bird peaking over a green blanket
Native to NZ, the kiwi are threatened by predators, habitat loss and a fragmented population. Canva.

For others, connect with your local council or search for community conservation groups to find opportunities to support biodiversity in your region.

A significant contributor to declining biodiversity, that we are all well versed in, is plastic pollution. 

It is quite fitting that two weeks after World Biodiversity Day, is World Environment Day, June 5, with the theme #BeatPlasticPollution. 

An adult woman and four children picking up plastic rubbish on a beach
Teaching children the importance of protecting biodiversity is essential to drive generational change. Canva.

Marine life is commonly affected by plastic pollution; plastic is often mistaken for food, causing starvation as sea creatures’ stomachs fill with plastic, or suffocation due to entanglement

Key to beating plastic pollution and building back biodiversity is education. Teaching the younger generation the importance of protecting biodiversity, reducing plastic pollution, and empowering them to act, is essential to drive generational change. 

It’s never too soon to start and there are a number of fantastic books that share these important messages in a fun and accessible way. 

Three recommendations include:

Celia Seagull and the Plastic Sea—tells the story of marine plastic pollution from the perspective of a seagull who is tasked with saving a seal tangled in plastic and a turtle who swallows a straw, and eventually enlists the help of a friendly mermaid.

Why do we need bees—is an interactive lift the flap book for budding environmentalists to get an understanding of the importance of bees, and why we must protect their habitats.

Jane Goodall – Little People Big Dreams—a wonderful true story recounting how Dr Jane Goodall’s determination and resilience enabled her to have a fascinating career studying chimpanzees and go on to be one of the world’s leading environmentalists.

Next time you’re at the library, pick up one of these to add to the bedtime story rotation—you might find, like me, you learn something too!

If you’re interested in thinking more on how to protect our precious biodiversity, read our earlier blog here. And why not join Glimmer to share your ideas and to learn from others about how we can all make an impact? Because together, we can change the world. It starts with you.


International day for biological diversity 22 May.

Marine plastic pollution.

The IUCN red list of threatened species.

Threats to kiwi.

Whakatāne Kiwi trust.

World environment day 5 June.

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