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International Rachel Carson Day

International Rachel Carson Day is Marked by Launch of the Te Aroha Declaration

Members of the WildFutureNZ Coalition met in Te Aroha, New Zealand, recently and wrote the Te Aroha Declaration / Whakapuakitanga o Te Aroha.

Like the Maruia Declaration of 1975 (foreshadowing protection of NZ native forests from clearfelling), the Te Aroha Declaration foresees an end to New Zealand ecocide from aerial poisons.

It has eight principles covering ethics, ecosystem health, the rights of communities and the accountability of those who hold power over the environment.

The Te Aroha Declaration is being launched on May 27th, which coincides with Rachel Carson Day. Rachel Carson was a U.S. marine biologist who in 1962 published the landmark book “ Silent Spring” exposing the folly of the widespread use of DDT.

The Declaration aims to challenge the current chemical engineering approach to species management and calls for a return to ethical holistic principles that shift away from human dominance towards true guardianship.

Many species have not even been discovered and animals may play key roles in ecosystems that we don't yet recognise. Hence the need for a more precautionary approach, rather than a military model of bombing poisons indiscriminately from the air.

Whakapuakitanga o Te Aroha declares it is the duty of citizens to safeguard the vitality/mauri of ecosystems. It sets standards for the future, holding to account those with power over the environment.

The current methods are like waging a war with poison battles, causing torturous deaths, bykill of unintended animals, lethal toxins dropped in drinking water catchments, loss of pets, loss of livestock, loss of game to feed families, and loss of economic opportunities. We can be smarter, more humane and more innovative than that.” says Stephanie McKee, a member of WildFutureNZ.

It is time that community concerns are recognised and that the legacy of Rachel Carson is remembered.

Rachel Carson said “ We must make wider use of alternative methods that are now known, and devote our ingenuity and resources to developing others.” She was referring to spraying forests with DDT in 1962, but these words equally apply to the aerial bombardment of our forests in 2014 with 1080 or our islands with broudifacoum.”

The WildFutureNZ Coalition is an alliance of individuals and groups united by the principles of the Te Aroha Declaration. For more information go to www.wildfuturenz.blogspot.com


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