Govt needs to step up funding & research to protect our birds

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) has found that the situation for our native birds is desperate and will only be addressed if the Government steps up and properly funds conservation, the Green Party said today.

Four out of five of our native birds are heading for extinction in New Zealand. The Green Party is calling on the National Government to properly fund biodiversity protection in the wake of the challenging report by the PCE

“National must stop pussyfooting around and fund the Department of Conservation (DOC) properly to save our native birds,” said Green Party conservation spokesperson Mojo Mathers.

“The PCE report is a major wake up call for National who have short-changed DOC for nine years in a row.

“Budget 2017 leaves DOC with $26 million less this year to carry out its work than it did in 2009. $422 million has been cumulatively cut from Vote Conservation since National took office.

“The PCE report has also highlighted the lack of a co-ordinated plan from the Government to stop the ongoing decline and extinction of our native birds.

“We need urgent, co-ordinated action now — not in 30 years’ time, when it will be much too late for many of our birds.   

“Kea, whio, and wrybill are just three of our incredible birds that will become extinct if National refuses to step up. We cannot allow that to happen.

“The Green Party in Government will increase funding for biodiversity protection by restoring DOC funding to at least 2009 levels and implement a levy on tourists entering New Zealand to properly fund the Predator Free 2050 vision,” said Ms Mathers.

Key findings by the PCE on birds

  • A third of NZ native birds are in serious trouble and a further half are in trouble. Ninety-three of our bird species are found nowhere else in the world.
  • A plan of action for eradicating possums, rats, feral cats, and stoats is urgently needed. 
  • The environment watchdog recommends a big funding boost, possibly through a levy on tourists
     

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