Making a real difference through TIS

Saturday December 29, 2018 Written by Published in Environment
Making a real difference through TIS

This weekly column is provided by Te Ipukarea Society. It deals with environment and conservation matters of concern to the Cook Islands.


You ever thought about creating or running your own environmental project?

Do you know something that needs fixing in our little paradise? For example, do you see a way to make a difference in the way we manage our waste or conserve our local marine or terrestrial environment? If that sounds like you, then Te Ipukarea Society may be able to help you kick start your idea.

Te Ipukarea Society has been a proactive non-government environmental organisation here in the Cook Islands for 22 years. We are the only Cook Islands members of BirdLife International and the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Over the years the society, through its members and staff, have assisted many local conservation projects. These include, for example assisting the Takitumu Conservation Area, the eradication of rats on Suwarrow, and bird surveys on Suwarrow, Takutea, Penryhn, Manihiki, Rarotonga, Mangaia and Atiu. We are also very active in the waste management area, working particularly with local schools on composting and worm farming. We have a successful track record of designing and implementing projects that make significant positive impact on our environment.

Starting from humble beginnings of just a few dedicated and hard-working volunteers back in 1996, the society has grown and now has four staff members. Having dedicated paid staff has helped us to develop our local, regional and international networks in order to assist us in protecting our fragile island ecosystems. These networks include individual philanthropists, scientists, regional and international organisations, as well as Cook Islands government agencies and the private sector. These partnerships and contacts allow us to draw on expertise from many fields, and also keeps us abreast of potential funding opportunities.

Te Ipukarea Society would be happy to hear from budding conservationists who think we may be able to assist them bring their project ideas to life. If an idea is likely to have a positive impact on our environment, and is feasible, the society can help develop a plan based on your idea as well as look for the necessary funds required to start your project.

We work with five focal areas. These are biodiversity, waste management, youth, climate change, and eco-sustainable development. Project ideas should be linked to one of those areas. Under these areas we work with schools, the tourism industry, practitioners in marine and land wildlife conservation, government departments such as Climate Change and the Environment Service, and private sector such as CITC and Cook Islands General Transport.

If you have an idea based around protecting or conserving our environment that you want to act on, whether it be in Rarotonga or in the outer islands, reach out to Te Ipukarea Society today to see if we can help make your vision become a reality.

You can email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or phone on 21144. Or you can just drop in for a chat at our office in town, between Bamboo Jacks and Rarotonga Printing. You can also visit our website at for more information about what we do.

Leave a comment