Biodiversity Protection as a national policy

Biodiversity Protection as a national policy

Native biodiversity is in decline in New Zealand. Even in intensely managed areas, native species of flora and fauna are at significant risk while in unmanaged areas many are already locally extinct. Environmental degradation is severe and urgent action is warranted. While financial challenges to DOC are somewhat to blame, ignorance of the severity and urgency of this problem by the general public and an absence of a comprehensive and coherent national policy on biodiversity protection may be the greatest challenges to ecosystem health. This has resulted in a fragmented conservation 'program' in NZ, primarily funded through philanthropy and staffed with volunteers. A TOP 7 policy needs to address this challenge at the national level. The policy should use evidence-based methods - not only for conservation practices - but also for implementation of a social education and information program to reduce public ignorance, mitigating apathy and heightening the overall awareness of the importance of natural biodiversity and its protection. Benefits of this policy aside from improvements to New Zealand's ecologic health will include employment opportunities in economically marginal regions and tourism boosts through better global perceptions.

Showing 35 reactions

  • Tam Irvine
    tagged this with essential 2017-05-31 15:34:37 +1200
  • Lorraine Williams
    commented 2016-12-04 22:36:45 +1300
    Thank you! Biodiversity IS the future of our country.
  • Lorraine Williams
    tagged this with essential 2016-12-04 22:36:45 +1300
  • Chelsea Finnie
    tagged this with essential 2016-12-03 22:39:51 +1300
  • Dennis Ingram
    tagged this with essential 2016-12-03 18:26:11 +1300
  • Gene Dalefield
    tagged this with essential 2016-11-30 16:31:00 +1300
  • Anna White
    tagged this with essential 2016-11-30 07:46:32 +1300
  • Sue Rine
    tagged this with essential 2016-11-29 19:19:50 +1300
  • Sue Rine
    followed this page 2016-11-29 19:19:46 +1300
  • Helen Charles
    tagged this with essential 2016-11-28 20:29:49 +1300
  • Nat Collicott
    commented 2016-11-28 09:30:33 +1300
    In order to reach the governments target of a Predator Free 2050 conservation will require a much higher level of investment; not simply to scale up predator control operations, but more importantly to understand the social barriers and values which will ultimately determine whether this initative succeeds.
  • Nat Collicott
    tagged this with essential 2016-11-28 09:30:33 +1300
  • Tim Hooson
    commented 2016-11-28 08:16:04 +1300
    I totally believe our unique biodiversity is part of what defines us as New Zealanders and underpins our economy. A national understanding of the risks of biodiversity loss and leadership of evidence based national programme of restoration would position New Zealand on the global stage, promote sustainable economic growth through tourism and provide an intimate understanding of the natural ecosystem for our future generations.
  • Tim Hooson
    tagged this with essential 2016-11-28 08:16:04 +1300
  • Dean Wright
    tagged this with essential 2016-11-28 07:32:42 +1300
  • Alan Dawn
    commented 2016-11-27 21:40:58 +1300
    Recognising that our wealth ultimately comes from primary industries and that involves use of natural resources (water, soil, sunshine, minerals, seas, etc) exploitation has to be sustainable as far as possible with as little secondary impact as possible. Pastoral farming has generally removed or modified all biodiversity from sites it now occupies, but there is a lot of marginal land which could be reverted. This would be a triple win – carbon sinks, soil stabilisation and water filtering, and possibly honey production. Perhaps some incentives to retire marginal land are required.
    I note a comment below states “in the last 40 years…fish stocks are all diminished”; fact is, since introduction of the Quota Management System some 30 years ago fish stocks have increased.
  • Alan Dawn
    tagged this with interesting 2016-11-27 21:40:58 +1300
  • Sara Smerdon
    commented 2016-11-27 21:34:27 +1300
    Our natural environment is the source of our health and our wealth, and without its wellbeing we too will become victims in the next mass extinction.
  • Sara Smerdon
    tagged this with essential 2016-11-27 21:34:27 +1300
  • Tim O’Donnell
    commented 2016-11-26 20:59:51 +1300
    I believe it’s the right idea just not sure of the implementation. It we improve our environment we become a much more desirable place to visit which is great for tourism, not to mention the morale benefit to the local NZ community. I also think the NZ citizenship only land ownership model has to be done at the same time. I don’t see a down side to policies to improve the environment. Cost to individual must be consider but can’t be a reason not to implement.
  • Tim O’Donnell
    tagged this with essential 2016-11-26 20:59:51 +1300
  • Alan Barraclough
    commented 2016-11-26 17:26:42 +1300
    Biodiversity is essential. GMO herbicide resistant crops lead to over use of herbicides and loss of weeds , trees flowers. Nature cant actually do without all those plants we consider weeds, insects we think are pests.. Reducing the number of species and clobbering the environment is removing the resilience of the ecosystem, and it will kill us all eventually, if we dont leave green viodiverse space and strips and national parks throughout the country
  • Alan Barraclough
    tagged this with essential 2016-11-26 17:26:41 +1300
  • james reardon
    commented 2016-11-26 16:48:48 +1300
    Theo’s link makes interesting reading and I like the thinking. I would like to see firmer policy on baselines. I would add that we actually already have some pretty good legislation governing statutory obligations for government agencies and the private sector but sadly they are extremely poorly implemented with little apparent accountability from certain govt departments.
  • james reardon
    tagged this with essential 2016-11-26 16:48:47 +1300
  • Ben Mayson
    tagged this with interesting 2016-11-26 15:37:23 +1300
  • Josie Carrad
    tagged this with essential 2016-11-26 13:16:11 +1300
  • Theo Stephens
    commented 2016-11-26 13:03:42 +1300
    Its hard to live without consuming some aspect of our environment and this is why we have the Sixth Great Extinction, climate change and water issues. The environment is a public good but we put no price on its consumption. People take and destroy enormously valuable aspects of the environment in order to gain a comparatively small private benefit without recompense to the public good. That is the story of agricultural intensification and many other types of development.

    So what is to be done? My preference is to tax environmental consumption as part of a wider strategy aimed at (1) broadening the tax base, (2) making it fairer, (3) reducing taxes on things we want to encourage (like employment,enterprise and buying the goods services that make our economy go) and (4) taxing things we don’t want (like unhealthy food, environmental impacts and other things that erode people’s wellbeing).

    I think we need an environmental consumption tax alongside a Comprehensive Capital Income Tax (and other taxes on harming the public good for private profit – like sugar & fat taxes). For pragmatic practical reasons, I’d confine the environmental tax to land-based (including freshwater) environmental consumption and I’d levy the tax on the basis of land use intensity estimated from satellite imagery. All landowners would be liable for the tax with rebates for land managed in ways that provides public benefits – biodiversity conservation, landscape & catchment protection, carbon sink.

    For much more detail about this idea, read the article starting on Pg. 26 of the special issue of Policy Quarterly

    And I would not be shy about increasing the overall tax take in order to increase our social and environmental spending.
  • Theo Stephens
    tagged this with essential 2016-11-26 13:03:42 +1300
  • Rohan Light
    tagged this with interesting 2016-11-26 12:34:35 +1300