Forest & Bird media release for immediate use

Published: Fri 7 Nov 2008 08:59 AM
6 November 2008
Forest & Bird media release for immediate use
Commitments, yet contradictions in Labour conservation policy
Labour’s conservation policy contains some good commitments but also some contradictions, Forest & Bird says.
In its conservation policy released today Labour makes commitments to protect threatened species by progressively eradicating introduced predators from off-shore islands and suitable mainland areas, and to develop a conservation apprenticeship programme.
Forest & Bird Advocacy Manager Kevin Hackwell says that while these commitments are welcomed they conflict with the announcement in the policy of greater involvement of hunters in managing pest species on conservation land.
“Commitment to protecting our biodiversity will be undermined by the support for a ‘Big Game Hunting Council’ to coordinate hunting interests, which will promote the continued destruction of the conservation estate by introduced pests such as deer and pigs.”
Forest & Bird also welcomed the commitment to offer lower rent to high country lease-holders in exchange for public access to high country properties and enhanced management beyond their current legal obligations.
“This is a much more workable proposal than the National Party proposal that high country national parks on land that is presently owned by the New Zealand public could be owned and operated by high country farmers,” Kevin Hackwell says.
He said it was disappointing that Labour has dropped the 2010 target by which to achieve its policy of protecting 10% of the marine environment.
“With a strong political commitment this goal would be still achievable, and would achieve substantial gains for protection of our marine environment.”

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