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High school students say NO to species extinction

High school students say NO to species extinction

Save Happy Valley Coalition
Monday 6th June 2006

High school students in Christchurch are marching to demand the protection of an endangered snail species, presently facing extinction if state owned coal company Solid Energy goes ahead with mining its habitat in the coming weeks.

The UPT Save Happy Valley group, along with the Save Happy Valley Coalition and supporters will march from the Bridge of Remembrance, Christchurch to the corner of High Street, at 12 noon on Tuesday.

The funeral march, designed by the students, is a chant of NO to species extinction, and to Solid Energy's proposed mine in Happy Valley.

Mourners will march to the corner of High Street and Cashel Mall, where over 100 white crosses will be placed in the grass area. Speakers will address the crowd on Powelliphanta 'Augustus' and protecting its 5 ha of remaining habitat, as well as climate change and the Save Happy Valley campaign.

This will be followed by a public awareness stall, petitioning and leafleting.

"We are a group of students who are supporting the Save Happy Valley protest action against Solid Energy's proposed coal mine in Buller," said Raven Gooding, 15, spokesperson for the group.

"We have planned an event to highlight the effect that Solid Energy's mining activities will have on native snails, and on the snails and Kiwi that currently make Happy Valley their home.

"As young people, it is our futures, our generation that will see and live with the consequences of species extinction and all the impacts of climate change," said Raven, who is also a founding member of Youth Environment Forum, a student run network of groups and individuals who take action for the environment.

Frances Mountier, spokesperson for the Save Happy Valley Coalition, said "it is a simple choice: New Zealand protects the less than 500 snails that are all that remains of this species, or we allow the ever expanding, 2308ha large Stockton mine to rip up the last 4 ha of its habitat; a species survival or its extinction forever."


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