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Trees That Count gifts native trees to Dunedin climate strikers

Tui feeding on kōwhai (Image: Paul Pope)

Trees That Count will show their support of the School Climate Strike by giving away 1000 kōwhai trees at the Dunedin march this Friday, 27 September.

Trees That Count will show their support of the School Climate Strike by giving away 1000 kōwhai trees at the Dunedin march this Friday, 27 September.

The strike will be the third run this year by School Strike 4 Climate New Zealand, and gives students a chance to express their concerns and frustrations over climate inaction. The police-escorted march starts at 12 midday at the Dunedin Dental School, travels down George St and finishes with a rally at the Octagon.

Tree planting was front and centre as one of the critical actions needed to fight climate change in #NatureNow, a new short film narrated by environmental activist Greta Thunberg and political journalist, author and activist George Monbiot.

"There's a magic machine that sucks carbon out of the air, costs very little and builds itself - it's called a tree,” said George Monbiot.

The film was released just days before Greta Thurnberg’s impassioned speech at the United Nations Climate Action Summit, demanding world leaders take action for a world on the brink of “mass extinction”.

“Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not,” said Thurnberg.

Trees That Count Otago Regional Advisor Paul Pope says the grief of climate strikers resonates deeply with the organisation and they hope planting native trees is a positive action young New Zealanders can take away from the march.

“Our native trees not only help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, they also strengthen our ecosystems and offer habitats for our native wildlife. Together, if we can plant millions of native trees around New Zealand we can do something huge to help fight climate change at the same time as improving our local environment,” said Paul.

Trees That Count will join climate strikers at the Octagon to offer free trees and information to inspire kids about the environmental and climate benefits of native tree planting.

The kōwhai trees being gifted to climate strikers have been grown by inmates at Otago Corrections Facility, as part of a their wider horticulture programme. The iconic kōwhai tree also serves as one Otago’s most beloved indigenous trees, in large part thanks to the conservation efforts of Project Gold – a Department of Conservation initiated programme that aims to see the kōwhai flourish once again in the southern region.



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