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Top conservationist celebrated

10 September 2008

Top conservationist celebrated

Conservation Week 2008 was celebrated at the Loder Cup awards tonight. Conservation Minister Steve Chadwick honoured local Nelson botanist Shannel Courtney, presenting him with New Zealand’s premier conservation award.

“This year’s theme for Conservation Week is “Meet the Locals, Tutakitia te Iwi Kainga”, and it is about getting up close to our local species and meeting with the people who work so hard to protect our unique New Zealand flora and fauna,” Steve Chadwick said.

“Shannel Courtney is one of those important locals working at a local level to protect and promote New Zealand’s indigenous plants, so it is especially appropriate to acknowledge Shannel’s work this week.”

There are a range of events planned for Conservation Week which began with the official opening of Taputeranga Marine Reserve on Wellington’s South Coast on the 7th September and will conclude with an event at Wellington Zoo on the 14th September. The presentation of the Loder Cup is a traditional Conservation Week event.

“Shannel is a very worthy recipient of the award. His knowledge of our native plants, especially in the Nelson/Marlborough region makes a huge difference to conservation work. Shannel makes a big effort to help others understand why our indigenous plants are so special and how important it is for us to protect them.

“Shannel’s work reminds us that conservation is a collaborative effort and during Conservation Week I acknowledge the hard work that thousands of volunteers and hundreds of community groups put in to help us achieve conservation goals. Last year more than 7900 volunteers showed up and put in more than 19,000 days worth of work!

“Conservation Week is a chance to really celebrate all that’s special in this country, whether its animals, plants, places or people.”

ENDS

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