Monday, 19 February 2024 14:19

NZ Landcare Trust and Bupa Foundation join forces

Written by  Staff Reporters
NZ Landcare Trust chief executive Dr Nick Edgar. NZ Landcare Trust chief executive Dr Nick Edgar.

The Bupa Foundation and NZ Landcare Trust have announced a new partnership designed to champion nature regeneration and address eco-anxiety and mental wellbeing among young Kiwis.

The nationwide programme, named Junior Landcare, will be a cornerstone of the partnership, aiming to address increasing concerns from younger generations about threats to the natural world and impacts on their lives.

Junior Landcare is designed to provide opportunities for young people to actively contribute to solutions through a series of nature regeneration projects.

The projects will be carried out by schools and youth groups and include a range of activities, such as planting native trees, ecological monitoring projects, wetland restoration, and pest control.

Dr Nick Edgar, chief executive of NZ Landcare Trust says that taking action has proven to alleviate the eco-anxiety and address the mental wellbeing challenges faced by some young Kiwis.

“Through working with the Bupa Foundation, we have created something that goes beyond environmental conservation; it extends to supporting the mental and physical wellbeing of participants, fostering a sense of purpose and connection to nature,” Edgar says.

“Our team across Aotearoa loves working with schools and the younger generations to create a legacy for those who come after us and this partnership will ensure we can have a great impact,” he says.

Junior Landcare, in conjunction with schools and local communities, is set to deliver ten regeneration projects across       New Zealand.

It will develop educational resources and research into the effects of nature on wellbeing and mental health, and also provide an opportunity to establish intergenerational connections by including Bupa’s residents in activities.

Bupa New Zealand managing director Pedro Sanchez says that as a global healthcare company, Bupa is focused on improving people's lives and the planet’s health through the restoration and regeneration of nature.

“The partnership between Bupa and NZ Landcare Trust will allow us to do both with significant benefits for local communities,” says Sanchez.

“Enabling people in aged care to connect with younger generations, to share their wisdom and life experiences, and to connect with nature is proven to have positive impacts on mental wellbeing,” he says.

It’s clear to us that to look after people’s health, we also need to look after the health of our planet. The natural environment plays an important part in activities at our sites around New Zealand and in our local communities, and we want to protect these natural assets for, and with the help, of the next generation.

“I am excited to see our partnership develop as the youth involved in Junior Landcare will take the lead on deciding what we do, where we focus and what’s important to local communities. This is a true grassroots programme and we’re pleased to be able to bring it to towns and cities across the country,” Sanchez says.

As part of this announcement, the Bupa Foundation and NZ Landcare Trust extend a call to action to young people across New Zealand. 

“We want a high level of engagement in Junior Landcare across Aotearoa,” says Edgar. “So, if you’d like to find out more, or to register your interest as an individual, school, classroom or youth-based group, please visit our website and register your interest.”

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