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Biodiversity stocktake findings


19 May 2004 Media Statement

Biodiversity stocktake findings

Research into New Zealand's biodiversity commissioned by Environment Minister Marian Hobbs shows that more than 146,000 hectares of New Zealand's total land area is protected by covenants on private land.

"This is great news, as it shows New Zealanders are doing their bit to help protect our precious indigenous species," Marian Hobbs said.

"Covenants on private land often protect environments that are significantly under-represented in public conservation areas, and therefore make a very important contribution to protecting New Zealand's biodiversity."

The research revealed considerable conservation in the community to protect biodiversity values, in addition to that being managed through legal covenants such as the QEII Trust and Nga Whenua Rahui covenants.

"Work by individual landowners and conservation groups on private land to protect our unique plants and animals adds to the national picture," Marian Hobbs said.

The research also shows that central and local government are providing comparable levels of contestable funding for biodiversity – approximately $5 million each in 2002-03. Marian said the partnership approach was critical to good results.

The Environment Ministry, Conservation Department and Local Government New Zealand conducted the research.

"I commissioned the work to get a clearer national picture of progress on biodiversity on private land," Marian Hobbs said. "The work will be developed into a report that will be released publicly in July.

"This work will help inform decisions about the need for and shape of the proposed National Policy Statement (NPS) on Indigenous Biodiversity."

ENDS


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