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Eco 2001 Budget Welcomed By Forest & Bird

Eco 2001 Budget Announcements Welcomed By Forest And Bird

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The Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society welcomes the Government’s announcements on increased funding for the environmental initiatives.

“This funding increase is good news for the environment” said Eric Pyle, Forest and Bird’s Conservation Manager. “In particular it is pleasing to see an increase in funding for the Ministry for the Environment (MfE). The Ministry has a vital role to play in environmental management and needs more resources to do its job effectively. Increased funding for DoC is also welcomed”.

The MfE has a critical role to play in ensuring the Resource Management Act (RMA) is effectively implemented. “Lack of funding for MfE has resulted in a lack of national guidance on implementing the RMA. In turn this has led to poor practice by some local authorities. As a consequence, in some areas the RMA has not lived up to expectations in terms of improving environmental management” said Mr Pyle.

Forest and Bird hopes MfE will use its increased funding to assist councils more effectively implement the RMA. “Hopefully this funding will mean more national policy statements will be developed as well as national standards and more assistance generally to councils for implementing the RMA. Currently, New Zealand has no national environmental standards – most other developed countries do” said Mr Pyle.

Increased funding for back country huts on conservation land is significant. “It is especially pleasing to see that the environmental impacts of huts and camping grounds will be addressed. We welcome increased spending on sewerage systems for popular visitor areas and huts” said Mr Pyle.

Forest and Bird also welcomes the increased funding for state of the environment reporting. “It is nearly 5 years since the NZ State of the Environment Report was released. That report contained more anecdotal than hard information. We need good information about the state of our environment to help improve decision making”.

“We also welcome the increased funding for public awareness about environmental issues. Increased public awareness is an important first step towards changing behaviour and attitudes towards the environment” said Mr Pyle.


Ends

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