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Back-down on Ross Sea not a great start to Conservation Week

Maryan STREET
Environment Spokesperson
Ruth Dyson
Conservation Spokesperson

9 September 2013         MEDIA STATEMENT

Back-down on Ross Sea not a great start to Conservation Week

The Government’s back-down on protecting the pristine Antarctic environment of the Ross Sea is hardly a good start to Conservation Week, say Labour's Conservation and Environment spokespersons, Ruth Dyson and Maryan Street.

"John Key has indicated he is willing to scale back a proposed marine reserve in a compromise agreed with the United States without even putting up a hint of a fight to win support for the original proposal," said Environment spokesperson, Maryan Street.

"Instead of rolling over meekly and accepting a reduction in what would have been the world’s biggest marine protection area, Mr Key should be looking to defend this hugely important area of the Southern Ocean.”

Conservation spokesperson, Ruth Dyson, said the pristine environment and biodiversity hotspot of the planet – home to 10,000 species - deserved every effort to conserve and protect.

“Ironically the theme of Conservation Week 2013 is What’s your whanau doing? The government might do well to consider that.

"Caving in at this stage of negotiations, prior to the October meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), makes it look as if New Zealand is throwing in the towel and that a much smaller area of the Ross Sea will end up being protected.

“Conservation appears not to be one of this government's priorities at all," she said.

ENDS

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