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Protecting our precious places

QCC covenants

QCC (Queen's Commonwealth Canopy) covenants are covenants that have been established using funds from a special one-off Government allocation to the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust to support the QCC initiative in New Zealand. 

Covenants established under this fund are dedicated to the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy initiative.

What is the QCC?

The QCC initiative was conceived by the Right Honourable Frank Field MP (a British politician) and launched at the Opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta in November 2015 as a way to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s long reign and dedication to the Commonwealth.

QCC is a partnership between The Palace, the Royal Commonwealth Society, and a rainforest charity called Cool Earth.

It aims to create a pan-Commonwealth network of rainforest and native forest conservation programmes and show that, ‘irrespective of geography, economy, culture or tenure, solutions exist to the threats facing these most critical of ecosystems.’

What will QCC do?

  • The QCC is committed to raising awareness, within the Commonwealth, of the value of indigenous forests and to saving them for future generations.
  • It will create a unique network of forest conservation projects that brings collective credibility and integrity to individual Commonwealth initiatives.
  • It will raise the profile of the Commonwealth, demonstrating the capacity of its 53 member countries to act together as one to ensure forest conservation.
  • It will use the Commonwealth network to facilitate a programme of knowledge exchange activities, share best practice, and to create new, collaborative initiatives that contribute to forest conservation across the globe.
  • It will create a physical and lasting legacy of The Queen’s leadership of the Commonwealth.

The QCC in New Zealand

  • All Commonwealth member countries were invited to contribute to QCC and demonstrate that its citizens are leading the world in their efforts to protect native forests.
  • New Zealand was one of first countries to support the initiative.
  • To support the initiative in New Zealand the Government announced it will spend $1 million over 3 years, allocated to the QEII National Trust to help it extend the network of covenants over native forest on private land.
  • The QCC initiative in New Zealand was launched on 4 November 2016, celebrating the registration of Mt Terako Covenant, the first open space covenant to be established with the QCC fund.

QCC covenants

To be eligible for QCC covenant status, the proposed areas must contain predominantly closed canopy indigenous forest cover, satisfy one or more of the four national priorities for biodiversity protection on private land, and/or add to a protected corridor or protected landscape.

The National Trust has approved 11 QCC covenant proposals in the first year of the funding allocation. 

Photo: Beech forest canopy: Miles Giller

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