Te Ipukarea Society (TIS)
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.
Of the 13,000 lmportant Bird & Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) identified by BirdLife worldwide, 277 are most severely under threat. Vital sites, such as Cambodia’s Lomphat Wildlife Sanctuary, are home to globally threatened birds such as Giant Ibis and other IBA ‘trigger species’. They face the most intense pressures and need our urgent help.
Tehani Withers began her career as an intern at SOP Manu (BirdLife Partner in French Polynesia) through the Conservation Leadership Programme and worked her way up to become their Island Restoration Manager. For Tehani, there is no typical day in the office as tasks can range from camping out in the field surveying birds and plants, to engaging with local communities about conservation, or working on reports and data analysis.