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FIFA focuses on rewilding efforts in New Zealand ahead of Women’s World Cup

July 13 2023 - News Release News Editorial

Football fans helped to plant some new native trees in South Auckland’s Puhinui Reserve ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which begins next week.

FIFA focuses on rewilding efforts in New Zealand ahead of Women’s World Cup

The event, which was held to promote sustainability and a safer, healthier environment in host nation New Zealand, was organised by Auckland’s cultural agency, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited. New Zealand is co-hosting the tournament with Australia.

FIFA Women’s World Cup Head of Sustainability Dr Sheila Nguyen shared a brief speech before attendees helped to plant trees in 32 prepared sections, in honour of the 32 nations taking part in the tournament. 

More than 5,100 native trees were planted by over 250 people as part of the initiative. Planting the trees also aided New Zealand’s ambition of planting a billion trees by 2028. 

As reported by Stuff, Nguyen said: “In hosting the big event and knowing how important sport is, this is a really great opportunity to share that platform and that stage with so many important issues that we all care about. 

“It’s about making sure we are arms wide open to welcome everybody to enjoy football as much as we do. We care about accessibility, we care about our basic rights, human rights and that the environment is safe.”

The World Cup will also feature ‘Football Rewilded’ installations at each venue across New Zealand and Australia, which will enable fans to explore the concept of ‘nature positivity’ and collective action towards restoration and protection. 

The FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand will run between July 20 and August 20. 

Image: Arnaud Mesureur on Unsplash

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