Funding to undo '10 years of damage' - Forest and Bird

Forest and Bird is welcoming new Government funding to tackle the country's biodiversity crisis - but says much more is needed.

More than 4000 of our native plants and wildlife are at risk of extinction. The Department of Conservation will invest an extra $76 million to help protect native plants and wildlife at risk of extinction.

"Where there has been an investment in conservation with our threatened species, we have been able to turn around their decline," said Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage.

"We need to invest in conservation to ensure that we stop the decline and that we allow numbers to rebuild."

Forest and Bird's Rebecca Stirnemann says the Government needs to step up further.

"In reality it's more than action on the ground - we need to have bold policies in place, and they need to be implemented with urgency, in order to restore our land, our fresh water and our sea."

Dr Stirnemann says she's seen significant damage to our biodiversity over the last decade.

"We have over 10 years of damage to nature because we haven't the had the resources that we now need to change things."

The National Party, which was in power for most of that decade, has recently looked at boosting its 'blue-green' credentials. It's also not ruling out a deal with one of its former candidates, Vernon Tava, who has started an environmentally focused party that unlike the Greens, could work with National.

The new funding will see an additional six islands protected from pest incursions.

Dr Stirnemann says some wildlife and native plants are at serious risk of becoming extinct.

"Our freshwater systems aren't doing very well. Our kauri forests are not doing very well at all. Our giants are dying."

The funding will also help with management of marine species.

"One of the things I really liked about the minister's announcement was the strong emphasis on marine ecosystems, because we can very easily forget or under emphasise how critically endangered those marine species are," Forest and Bird chief executive - a former Green MP - told RNZ.


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