Budget ‘16 a tragedy for the environment
[UPDATE: See: Correction: Conservation funding to be clarified]
Budget ‘16 a tragedy for the
26 May 2016
DOC’s conservation budget has been slashed by a quarter with a $57.5 million reduction in baseline funding for essential activities protecting native species.*
But the situation gets worse, because the overall conservation and infrastructure baseline budget across departments has been slashed by $64 million, representing a 17% overall reduction.
Forest & Bird says they are bitterly disappointed that the Government’s budget has delivered a close to worst case scenario for New Zealand’s native animals.
“This is a tragedy for New Zealand’s native environment, which is already under immense pressure from rats, possums, stoats, and weeds,” says Kevin Hackwell, Advocacy Manager for Forest & Bird.
“New Zealand has 799 species threatened with extinction and things are getting worse every year."
“The Government’s big conservation announcement earlier this year, $20 million for the Battle for Our Birds pest control programme, appears not to be additional funding as promised, but instead to have been siphoned away from other vital conservation work,” says Mr Hackwell.
“At a time when the Government is pushing more and more work onto community groups, they’re nearly halving money available for community conservation.”
*Data taken from: Vote Conservation: The Estimates of Appropriation - Environment Sector B.5 Vol3 (pages 3-5)