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NZ Must Act To Help Stop Environmental Catastrophe

The Forest and Bird Protection Society today called on all political parties to make commitments to protect the environment in the light of a United Nations report that time is fast running out to prevent global environmental catastrophe.

Forest and Bird President Keith Chapple said environmental groups had issued a Vote for the Environment Charter seeking commitments from all political parties on key conservation issues, including increased funding for the protection of threatened species such as the kiwi.

"The United Nations report says it's too late to halt global warming and the health of the planet has reached crisis point. New Zealand must play its part in slowing down the destruction of the environment. A good place to start would be to protect our remaining indigenous forests," said Mr Chapple.

"Eighty per cent of the world's original forest cover is gone and much of the remaining forest is under threat from logging. Our own Government has just announced another assault by SOE Timberlands on precious West Coast forests, with complete disregard for the impact on threatened species dependent on those forests and the wider impact on the health of the planet."

"The future of the planet must surely be a key election issue. New Zealand is playing a role in international peacekeeping. Now it's time to play a role in international planet protection to prevent the environmental catastrophes predicted by the United Nations report."

"We are calling on all political parties to make the fourteen key commitments outlined in the Vote for the Environment Charter. Forest and Bird agrees with the UN that we are on an unsustainable course. Urgent action is needed to halt the devastation before it's too late," said Mr Chapple.

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