Why is this outcome important to Auckland?
The natural environment is the basis for our existence. It supports and enables all aspects of our society, economy and culture and is inextricably connected to Aucklanders’ sense of identity and place. It affects our health and wellbeing, and it provides us with clean air to breathe and fresh water to drink.
The natural environment is part of Auckland’s shared cultural heritage – that is, our collective heritage of air, land, and water, biodiversity, significant landscapes, and historic features. It provides an anchor for the sense of belonging that communities have to their place.
Preserving and managing Auckland’s diverse natural environments and protecting their quality is a complex and vital responsibility for all Aucklanders. It is particularly complex in the context of a growing population, and the requirements of the commercial, agricultural, and industrial activities that form part of our economy.
Despite past efforts to protect and enhance the environment, it has been significantly stressed by the impacts of human activity. It continues to be negatively affected by:
- consequences of past decisions
- inability of infrastructure to cope with current pressures
- day-to-day lifestyle decisions people make.
There are also new problems to address. Heat waves, droughts and tropical storms are part of our lives. However, the climate change impacts we are now beginning to experience are likely to worsen, and will have major long-term effects on how we live.
We must take action to reduce and mitigate these threats and minimise the impacts on Auckland’s people and cultural heritage.