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Greens welcome biodiversity strategy - cautiously

29 March 2000

Embargoed Until Strategy Delivery - (12.30pm)

Greens welcome biodiversity strategy - cautiously

Green Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today welcomed the Government's Biodiversity Strategy but said she remained concerned at the absence of detailed costings for implementing the plan.

Ms Fitzsimons - who is presenting several awards to leading environmentalists at today's strategy launch - said she supported the goals of the strategy but would like to see a firm financial commitment to achieving them.

National's draft Biodiversity Strategy in 1998 estimated the cost of halting the decline in native biodiversity at an extra $36 - $47 million per annum. These costings have been removed from the final strategy released today.

Ms Fitzsimons said the figures currently being discussed in the media as likely funding in the June budget - around $16 million - is less than half of what is needed for an effective campaign to halt biodiversity decline.

"The Greens welcome the goals of this strategy but without the finances to support these goals they are meaningless," she said. "The Greens believe the Department of Conservation needs a serious funding increase to not only halt the decline of biodiversity but to actually increase the native species in our forests and parks.

"The Greens are reserving our final judgment of this strategy until the dollars are allocated. The plan is good but it simply must be reflected in the finances provided," she said.

Ends

Jeanette Fitzsimons MP: 04 470 6660, 025 507 183 Jonathan Hill: 04 470 6719, 021 110 1133




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