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Tourism operators to help preserve Abel Tasman

5 December 2007

Tourism operators to help preserve Abel Tasman

Conservation Minister Steve Chadwick has launched a new conservation trust for Abel Tasman National Park made up of tourism operators, local businesses and the community.

The newly formed Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust will support the preservation of the unique park environment, with activities ranging from expanding pest control, restoring birdlife, and funding ecological restoration programmes.

Steve Chadwick says the Abel Tasman National Park has outstanding natural beauty, and she’s delighted local tourism operators are taking a role in protecting the park, which is visited by around 150,000 people every year.

“This is one of very few initiatives where tourism operators contribute to nature conservation in the area they operate. I applaud tourism businesses for taking responsibility to help protect the unique biodiversity of the area, including its rich plant and animal life.

“It’s a great example of local businesses and the community supporting the Labour-led government’s commitment to preserving our national heritage, and making sure New Zealand remains one of the most special places on earth.

“The trust is made up of volunteers, as well as tourism operators, and is a great example of the important contribution volunteers make to conservation on International Volunteer Day today.

“The trust’s work also supports the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy, which aims to stop the decline of native flora and fauna and protect New Zealand’s unique environment.”

Most tourist companies operating within the park have indicated they will join the trust. They will collect a fee, or restoration donation, to fund the trust’s work. The funds generated by the Trust will help to expand existing work by the Department of Conservation and the community.

ENDS

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