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Loss Of Champion Of World Conservation

Loss Of Champion Of World Conservation - Huge Blow, Says ECO

"The death of PHC (Bing) Lucas on Sunday is a huge loss to national and international conservation", says Cath Wallace of the Environment and Conservation Organisations of NZ, ECO.

"Bing, as we all knew him, was the most unassuming, well informed and effective advocate of protected areas and conservation. He is responsible for spreading understanding of how to create and manage conservation areas all round the world. He promoted protected areas, World Heritage values and National Parks and walkways throughout the world and in New Zealand. He was instrumental in the first nominations of New Zealand's World Heritage sites.

He held several offices within IUCN - the World Conservation Union, and chaired the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas. Honoured at the international level with IUCN's prestigious Phillips Medal, he was also an Officer of the Order of the Golden Ark and held several New Zealand honours including the Queens Service Order.

In New Zealand he was the first Director-General of National Parks for New Zealand and was subsequently Director General of Lands, from which he retired in 1986. He also chaired the National Parks Authority, the New Zealand Walkways Commission and was a member of the National Tourism Advisory Council.

"Retirement" however simply marked a new phase of intense dedication to the cause of international conservation and to New Zealand's Youth Hostel Association. He was indefatigable, constantly on missions abroad, often unpaid, always diligent and a superb worker for protected areas and other aspects of conservation and people's enjoyment of Parks.

"Bing had an engaging personality, seemingly able to relate well to all. He was a humble person, much more interested in achieving conservation and protected areas than in any accolades.

Bing's international work was little known in New Zealand and virtually unrecognised here - but it received very high recognition from the international conservation community, particularly within the World Conservation Union, IUCN.

In one of his many papers he quotes the Maori saying:
"Te Ha o Taku maunga
Ko taku manawa"
(The breath of my mountain is my heart).

Bing lived and died by this: he died on Sunday 17 December 2000 while walking the Queen Charlotte Walkway, Marlborough, New Zealand, with his family, his other great passion in life.

"We have lost a champion of conservation and protected areas and a particularly fine human being", said Cath Wallace.

ENDS

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