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28, May, 2009

Conservation Budget: Cuts threaten species and destroy carbon sinks


Category: ECO Inc

The budget is environmentally perverse and will damage species and the climate says the Environment and Conservation Organisations.

“The government is focusing on the fiscal crises and forgetting about the much more profound environmental crisis,” ECO Spokesperson Barry Weeber said.

“We are disappointed at the cut by more than 5 percent of the budget of the Department of Conservation.”

Mr Weeber said this budget cut means greater risks for New Zealand’s threatened species and lessens out carbon sinks.

“The cuts will mean that 30 threatened species will lose protection and 45,000 ha will now not have possums controlled leading to ecosystem losses and a loss of carbon sinking capacity.

Protected conservation land could have potential benefits as a sink of greenhouse gases.

Mr Weeber said that at the same time that the budget is cutting DoC’s vote and important areas, the government is subsidising climate change polluters to the tune of $471 million.

What kind of topsy-turvy world are we in when we subsidise polluters and remove funding for environmental protection.

The Budget is not regearing the economy to deal with the challenges ahead on climate change and running out of oil.

“The main environmentally positive move is the home insulation project. It will have lots of positive spin-offs including better health, lower energy use, benefits for climate change, employment, and positive education outcomes.”

Mr Weeber said this programme was a credit to the Greens’ advocacy to the Government.

For further information, contact Barry Weeber 04-389-1696 or 021-738-807.

Notes:

  1. ECO – the Environment and Conservation Organisations was established in 1972 and represents 66 groups with a concern for the environment.