WWF is a global organisation dedicated to conserving nature and reducing threats to the diversity of life on Earth. In New Zealand, its programmes include research, conservation, advocacy and partnerships aimed at protecting habitats and species, minimising harm from fishing and other unsustainable food production activities, and reducing impacts from climate change.

In 2019 WWF-New Zealand celebrated its twentieth year of being a Local Donation Manager for The Tindall Foundation (TTF), falling under the Environment focus area. Over that time WWF has distributed approximately $4 million to grassroots projects around the country that protect areas of high conservation value to their communities.

Being a Local Donation Manager allows WWF to empower communities to find solutions and create change, says Becky Wilson, Innovation & Programme Coordinator: “The Foundation’s vision of a stronger, sustainable Aotearoa New Zealand where communities grow and prosper complements our mission to build a future where people live in harmony with nature.”

One of the groups funded by WWF is A Rocha Aotearoa New Zealand, which draws together the local community, including iwi, families and school students, as kaitiaki of Mount Karioi near Raglan. Their collaborative efforts are making a tangible impact on the environment. “A Rocha has a great inclusive focus that aligns with TTF’s vision to give future generations the very best chance in life,” says Becky.

Through the group’s efforts, seven oi (grey-faced petrel) chicks were fledged in 2017, the first in living memory. Together with Raglan Area School and Papa Taiao Earthcare, A Rocha has also created an Earthcare academy as a pathway to employment in conservation. Beyond the academic and environmental achievements, it develops a sense of belonging and self-worth among students.

“Managing donations to support A Rocha and other organisations like them truly allows WWF-New Zealand to achieve our purpose to turn New Zealanders’ passion for nature into action,” Becky says.

WWF’s work meets TTF goals and priorities by helping communities to understand environmental issues, engage with and contribute to scientific monitoring, connect with nature and the environment, and work collaboratively to protect and restore ecosystems for long-term sustainability.