Cook Islands - Te Ipukarea Society (TIS)
Mission of the organisation
The Society was established to promote environmental harmony between the people of the Cook Islands and other components of their environment by: awareness raising, pilot projects and liaison with the Government and other Non Governmental Organisations.
The Te Ipukarea Society (TIS) is a Cook Islands environmental NGO. A translation for Te Ipukarea essentially means 'looking after our heritage'. TIS initially came into existence due to the restructuring of the Environment Service (a government funded body). TIS mostly operates on a voluntary basis. Whilst the Environment Service has been strengthened in recent times, there is still a need for TIS to support it and to act as an environmental watchdog.
In June of each year, an annual general meeting is held to report the activities of TIS to its members and elect officer bearers (President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary) and to form an executive committee.
- TIS has assisted the Takitumu Conservation Area in the successful recovery of the Rarotonga Monarch, known locally as the Kakerori, from a low of 29 individuals in 1989. Now over 300 birds.
- TIS was a co-partner in a successful Save our Suwarrow campaign, spearheaded by concerned Cook Islanders opposed to an Australian Company's proposal to farm black lip pearls in Suwarrow atoll's pristine lagoon. Suwarrow atoll is uninhabited and is one of the most important seabird sites in the South Pacific. It was declared a National Park in 1978. The Cook Islands Government cancelled the pearl farming proposal. In 2003 TIS carried out a rat eradication project on this atoll.
- TIS assisted the Cook Islands Natural Heritage Trust with the translocation of 27 Rimatara Lorikeet from French Polynesia to Atiu in the Cook Islands.
- TIS worked with the Cook Islands Natural Heritage Trust, the Pacific Invasives Initiative and Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund to monitor the endemic Kingfisher on the island of Mangaia in the Cooks for possible breeding failure due to Myna Bird interference.
- With support from the Packard Foundation and SPREP, TIS has surveyed seabirds and invasive alien species in the Northern Cook Islands
- In partnership with the Cook Islands National Environment Service and with technical advice from the Birdlife Pacific Secretariat and the Pacific Invasives Initiative and financial assistance from the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund, TIS has restored Suwarrow National Park through the eradication of rodents