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Big boost for conservation awareness

15 June 2000
Big boost for conservation awareness

A conservation initiative in the Green Budget Package is designed to build awareness of the environment and an understanding of the consequences of human actions, Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today.

The Green Party is proposing to Conservation Minister Sandra Lee that $2.5 million be added to Vote Conservation for public awareness programmes following Green Party and government consultation with the Department of Conservation (DOC), other relevant agencies and Forest and Bird.

"Rules and regulations will not stop environmental destruction if people don't value our unique natural heritage and understand how their actions are affecting it," said Ms Fitzsimons. "More money for more public awareness programmes will enable more people to have hands on experience of nature and of working to protect it, both as children and adults.

“I am delighted that three political parties have negotiated this – Labour, the Alliance and the Greens – in the true spirit of MMP. The Minister has proved to be particularly supportive.

“Under this initiative it is envisaged that staff from DOC will work more widely with rural communities and iwi to protect natural species on the ground, using initiatives such as the successful kiwi and kukupa [native pigeon] ventures in Coromandel and Northland as models,” she said.

Ms Fitzsimons said she understood DOC staff in Auckland had a proposal which was ready to go which aimed to harness Aucklanders' enthusiasm for the islands of the Hauraki Gulf and other conservation areas in Auckland and to raise awareness of conservation issues among new New Zealanders.

"We see our agreement as funding initiatives along these lines, as well as supporting schools and community environmental education through internet resources and outreach programmes," said Ms
Fitzsimons.


ends

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