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Sanctuary wins international ecotourism award

MEDIA RELEASE
For Immediate Release
16 December 2005


Sanctuary wins international ecotourism award


David Bellamy & Nancy McIntoshWard With The Skal Award

The world-first conservation attraction Karori Wildlife Sanctuary has been recognised for best practice in the ecotourism industry by winning an award from Skal International, at a ceremony recently held in Croatia.

“We are delighted to have won this prestigious award that typifies all the Sanctuary stands for – preserving New Zealand’s natural heritage in a sustainable and responsible manner so that all people can experience our unique flora and fauna”, said Nancy McIntosh-Ward, chief executive, Karori Wildlife Sanctuary.

“This award tops off a special year for the Sanctuary – where we’ve celebrated our our first 10 years of considerable conservation successes, including the return of hihi (stitchbird) and tuatara to their natural environment on mainland New Zealand.”

"We are thrilled for the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary," says Tim Cossar, CEO of Positively Wellington Tourism. "Karori is a world-class visitor destination, and it is an asset to Wellington. They deserve this award for their efforts in conservation and education."

Neville Brown, President of Wellington Branch of SKAL said, “This is a just reward for the ongoing work that the team at Karori Wildlife Sanctuary are delivering, we are proud to have played a very small part in allowing this work to be recognised on the world stage”.

The winners of the 4th SKAL International Ecotourism Awards were announced at the 66th SKAL World Congress held in Croatia in October 2005. Forty-six entries from 33 countries were received. The three international judges were: Eugenio Yunis, Head, Sustainable Development of the World Tourism Organization, Spain; Ray Sloan, Executive Director, Green Globe Asia Pacific, Australia; and Björn Guterstam, Network Officer, Global Water Partnership, Sweden.

Karori Wildlife Sanctuary in Wellington has achieved many significant breakthroughs in the restoration of threatened wildlife – successfully releasing little spotted kiwi, North Island saddleback and hihi (stitchbird) onto the mainland for the first time in over 100 years and welcoming 70 tuatara – marking their return to their natural environment on mainland New Zealand for the first time in over 200 years.

SKAL is the largest organisation of travel and tourism professionals in the world and is present in 87 countries and has 22,000 members.

ENDS

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