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About us


Students at Bird Sanctuary

Who is Te Ipukarea Society Inc?

Ipukarea is literally translated as ‘our heritage’. Te Ipukarea Society (TIS) is a proactive nongovernment environment organisation (NGO) formed to help look after our heritage. Our philosophy is that we do not own our land and marine resources but borrow them from our future generations, and need to leave them in good condition. We are a collection of individuals and groups who desire a sustainable healthy and beautiful environment. We are members of IUCN and Birdlife International. We have among our staff and membership well respected scientists and active campaigners for environmental sustainability. TIS is managed by a voluntary committee who are elected by members, as per our constitution, at our Annual General Meeting. Paid staff and volunteers attend to the day-to-day running of TIS. At present, these include:

Kelvin Passfield – Technical Director
Liam Kokaua – Project Officer
Alanna Smith – Project Officer
Mary McDonald – Finance Manager

Our Philosophy

TIS encourages innovative, proactive and positive outcomes to environmental problems, by working with individuals, families, community organizations, private sector and government. We provide leadership on key environmental issues and a voice for local, regional and nation-wide environmental groups. We recognize and incorporate into our campaign objectives the connection between environmental sustainability and social and economic justice. We believe individuals must avoid actions that have negative effects on the wider community, including plants and animals and future generations. We promote the philosophy that we do not own our land and marine resources but we borrow them from our ancestors.

History

TIS was the first Cook Islands environmental NGO and was established in 1996 as a direct result of the downsizing of the Environment Service. TIS was formed by a group of citizens who felt some of the projects axed were worthwhile continuing for the benefit of the Cook Islands. Since then the National Environment Service has strengthened, and TIS works closely with them where NGO involvement is needed. This may be in a supportive role or through campaigns that raise awareness on specific topics that affect our country.

How do we work?

TIS has a Constitution and is managed by a President and voluntary committee which comprises of a cross section of the community , who are elected by members at our Annual General Meeting. The Society is registered at the Cook Islands Ministry of Justice under the Incorporated Societies Act 1994. TIS has an overall Programme Manager who co-ordinates the day-to-day running of TIS as well as several Project Managers. Members participate in their specific area of focus.

What does TIS do?

TIS encourages innovative, proactive and positive outcomes to environmental problems, by working with individuals, community organisations, private sector and government. We provide leadership on key environmental issues and a voice for local, regional and global environment groups. We incorporate the connection between environmental sustainability and social and
economic justice. We believe individuals must avoid actions that have negative effects our plants, animals, current and future generations.

We provide others with a voice to lobby more effectively. TIS campaigns on a broad range of environmental issues in the Cook Islands. We also coordinate and implement environmental projects. We are guided by our strategic plan, and focus our projects in 4 main areas:
BIODIVERSITY. For example Save our Suwarrow
project, invasive species eradications, outer
island bird surveys, Marine Park project;
WASTE such as promoting re-useable shopping bags,
recycling centre, strategy for old tyres;
ECOLOGICALLY SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT which recently focussed on raising awareness on the impacts of seabed mining and industrial fishing;
YOUTH like youth debates around topical environmental issues, youth camps and training on environmental monitoring.

Our Mission

The mission of the Society is to promote the balance and harmony, which should characterise the relationship of the Cook Islands people with other components of our environment.

Our Objectives

- To disseminate information and create public awareness amongst members and the community regarding environmental matters.

- To demonstrate sound ideas and practices for the purpose of promoting conservative and sustainable development through carefully selected field projects; such demonstrations to draw on the traditional knowledge and practices where they are considered beneficial.

- To co-operate with similar organizations within the Cook Islands and throughout the world for the purpose of advancing the course of conservation and sustainable e development.