Kiwi charity at forefront of fight against climate change

A Kiwi environmental charity is aiming to plant more than 12,000 trees by the end of Saturday as a report into climate change indicates its the best way to fight global warming. 

The study says planting a trillion trees is the cheapest solution, and former Young New Zealander of the Year Sam Judd is ready to do more than his bit. 

Judd is working with Waikato businesses and charities as well as the Waikato Regional Council to plant 12,500 trees by the end of Saturday.

The co-founder of Sustainable Coastlines joined forces the community groups and they spent Friday at Lovells Rd in Cambridge to meet their goal. 

Supported by local schools and Black Sticks hockey team members, Judd says the efforts of nearly 150 volunteers put them ahead of their original target of 10,000 trees.

He told Newshub nearly 6000 trees had been planted on Friday, with another full day of mucking in planned for Saturday.

"We've been smashing it," Judd told Newshub.

"It is the best thing that New Zealanders can do to address climate change; is plant trees on marginal land like this.

"If you look at the recent State of the Environment report, we are going in a bad trajectory when it comes to loss of threatened, native species."

The Environment Aotearoa report found 90 percent of our seabirds and 76 percent of our freshwater fish are at risk of extinction.

Once the project was complete, Judd hoped a number of native species, such as long-finned eels, would be able to thrive in the wetland environment.

"I think the key thing that we need to do is scale up on these types of efforts.

"We need to engage with multiple different groups in the community."

Judd said they were proving when lots of groups come together for one cause, a difference can be made.

"We can actually start to see some hope in people that we can change some of those things that aren't going so well.

"Tomorrow [Saturday] is an open day for the public, and we're able to cater for very lunch numbers - we're looking for as many people as we can to just scale it up.

"The goal was 10,000 - I reckon we'll be able to get to about 12,500."

Architectural Profiles Ltd (APL), ANZ and local charity the Ngati Haua Mahi Trust collaborated with them on the project.

"We will continue to strive towards creating a better future for generations to come," said Mikayla Plaw - APL general manager of organisational development and sustainability.

"The Waikato is our primary home and playground, we will therefore continue to support and enhance the region's environment."