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Committee Rejects Support For Timberland's Scheme

IMMEDIATE MEDIA RELEASE

WELLINGTON 12 JANUARY 2000

NZ IUCN Committee Rejects Support For Timberland's Beech Scheme

Claims of support for the cancelled Timberlands West Coast beech logging by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) are false, says the New Zealand elected representative to the IUCN Council and spokesperson for the NZ Committee of IUCN members, Dr Wren Green.

Media reports (NZPA, 7 Jan.) cited Grahame Webb, Chair of the Australasian 'sustainable-use specialist group' of IUCN as lending scientific support to the logging plans.

"Grahame Webb is a saltwater crocodile specialist and cannot credibly be used as a scientific source of support for logging New Zealand beech" said Dr Green.

"It is important to distinguish between the views of this voluntary group of individuals, most of whom are Australian-based, and the views of the actual member organisations of IUCN in New Zealand."

Dr Green, speaking after consulting with other members of the NZ Committee of IUCN said there have been other problems with this group and their presumption of speaking as if they have a mandate to represent the organisational members of IUCN. "The news reports specifically linking their statements to the 850 global members of IUCN are particularly upsetting to the NZ members since they have never been consulted by Dr Webb, nor is there a resolution from the IUCN World Conservation Congress to support his comments."

Dr Green, himself an ecologist, said it was extraordinary that a crocodile specialist was being used to support a logging programme by a State company that had already been cancelled by the Government.

"It is a pity that Grahame Webb did not contact our IUCN members in New Zealand before putting his name to the statement. He would have found that they see no need to log these magnificent forests and every reason to retain them uncut for conservation."

End of statement.

For further information contact Wren Green, (04) 934-5913


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