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Concerns With Schedule 4 Mining

International And National Concerns With Schedule 4 Mining

Proposals to allow mining in specially protected areas are contrary to the philosophy and intent of protected areas legislation, and the ethic of New Zealanders, says the New Zealand Committee of IUCN. The proposals are justified by grossly overstated economic assumptions and in conflict with a number of significant global considerations and practices.

The Government proposals to remove protection from certain Schedule 4 land are flawed and the economic rationale invalid, conclude New Zealand Members of the oldest and largest global nature conservation network.

Membership of IUCN uniquely includes over 80 states, over 100 state agencies and over 800 NGO member organisations, plus some 11,000 scientists involved on a voluntary basis through six technical Commissions.

The submission of the Committee of New Zealand Members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (NZIUCN) has been released this weekend.

Committee chairperson Diana Shand said the submission pointed out that estimate of value needed to take into account both the environmental and the economic costs of mining including the costs of extraction, environmental damage costs, and the losses of market and non-market benefits.

“NZIUCN does not accept the Government’s stated position that “it is possible to balance the different values of areas, and that modern mining need not be at the expense of conservation or other values”.”

Rejecting the proposed and any future removal of conservation areas from Schedule 4, NZIUCN considers that “if Government is prepared to countenance mining where there are high and threatened biodiversity values as in these areas, then it undermines faith that Government will remain fully committed to international andnational obligations to conserve our unique biodiversity.

“In the United Nations International Year of Biodiversity these proposals are drawing international attention, as they come at a time of mounting threats to nature worldwide and an escalating species extinction crisis”.

ENDS

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