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Conservation Minister to visit UK and Egypt

Conservation Minister to visit UK and Egypt

Conservation and Associate Environment Minister, Eugenie Sage leaves today to attend events in the United Kingdom before travelling to Egypt for a key international biodiversity meeting.

Eugenie Sage will spend two days in England during which she will meet Dr Thérèse Coffey, MP and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

She will also give a speech on the Commonwealth Blue Charter and ocean acidification to the Royal Academy. For Armistice Day centenary commemorations she will attend a wreath laying at the New Zealand War Memorial at Hyde Park Corner as well as the National Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey.

Eugenie Sage will join other political leaders to discuss global biodiversity in Egypt on 14 and 15 November at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) High Level Segment in Sharm-el-Sheikh.

“New Zealand’s unique indigenous plants and wildlife and ecosystems underpin our success as a country. This gives us a strong voice globally to advocate for greater recognition of the importance of biodiversity and protection of natural ecosystems,” Eugenie Sage said.

“I will add New Zealand’s perspective to discussions between political leaders on the process and issues to consider in developing a new global framework for biodiversity.

“We have a global biodiversity crisis. Too many species are threatened with extinction and the condition of natural habitats and ecosystems is declining, impacting on the diversity and abundance of life on Earth and human wellbeing.

“Over the next two years, CBD Parties will negotiate new global biodiversity targets. We need to be ambitious with this new framework, which will guide international action to halt biodiversity decline.

“This is a timely conference to attend given that New Zealand has started to develop a new national biodiversity strategy.

“With many of New Zealand’s native plants and wildlife found nowhere else in the world, we have an international responsibility to safeguard them for their own sake, and for present and future generations,” Eugenie Sage said.

While in Egypt, Eugenie Sage will meet with Canada’s Parliamentary Secretary for Environment and Climate Change, Sean Fraser, to discuss waste management issues such as ensuring producers take responsibility for products across their life cycle.

Other meetings are scheduled with Cristiana Paca Palmer, the Executive Director of the CBD, Kosi Latu, Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, and Eric Solheim, Director General of the UN Environment Programme, as well as her counterparts from Egypt, Samoa, China and the European Commission. These discussions will focus on what more can be done to tackle challenges to global biodiversity.

Eugenie Sage will also visit Vancouver and meet the Hon George Heyman, British Columbia’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. While in the city she will be briefed about the Green Vancouver Initiative and in particular Vancouver’s Zero Waste 2040 Strategy. Vancouver has set a goal to become the greenest city in the world by 2020.


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