School holiday programme to boost local environmental learning

This Earth Day, Te Ipukarea Society is creating an opportunity for stakeholder collaboration and a space for local environmental learning for our future leaders.

Every year Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 with the participation of more than one billion people around the globe coming together to demonstrate support for environmental protection.

With planet earth grappling various environmental threats such as overfishing, pollution and climate change, Earth Day acts as a reminder of the seriousness of these threats as well as raising awareness of possible solutions we can all take part in. This all helps ensure the health of our environment is protected and sustained for future generations.

World Earth Day has influenced major national policy in countries around the world, and will only continue to do so. By influencing national policies, it can help us with a broad framework to plan the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. One local example includes progression steps towards preventing waste accumulation in the Cook Islands. This is being achieved through Infrastructure Cook Islands (ICI) who have submitted to Government a policy to ban the importation of single use plastic products.

In celebration of Earth Day a “Learning by Doing “Ridge to Reef programme for youth will take place on Friday, April 22. The free school holiday educational programme includes the collaborative efforts of Muri Environment Care, National Environment Service, To Tatou Vai (TTV) and Te Ipukarea Society. The half day long programme will involve carrying out various activities at the different cross-sections of the Avana Valley. The day will start up at the water catchment site where water quality tests will be carried out by TTV. Midway up the stream, youth will learn and investigate what vegetation and fresh water marine life are present. The intertidal zone will involve investigations around the changes in biodiversity observed within this unique ecosystem. The salt marsh area will undergo a crab survey. Finally, the programme will come to an end at Avana point to discuss the biodiversity and geological changes observed at the reef environment. Threats faced by these unique ecosystems will also be discussed.

The half day long Ridge to Reef Learning by Doing programme will start at the park area across the road from the Ngatangiia CICC Church at 8am, and will run to 2pm. Pick up will be at the same drop off spot.

This is a free school holiday programme learning event. All participants must bring food for lunch, a reusable water bottle and sun smart gear.

This Earth Day, we are creating an opportunity for stakeholder collaboration and a space for local environmental learning for our future leaders.

Please, everyone on this Earth Day (and all days!), consider challenging yourself by going local or purchasing produce packaged in paper as opposed to those in single use plastic-wrapped goods. This could also be your opportunity to get in your cardio for the day and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions by walking or cycling to work.

For all those interested in participating in the Ridge to Reef learning by doing half day programme please RSVP by calling Te Ipukarea Society on 21144 or email