Conservation Week kicks off on Monday, and this year it’s going down a different track.
The theme is Healthy Nature Healthy People. It’s all about the connection between human health and wellbeing, and nature.
We are lucky in New Zealand to have a rich and varied landscape that’s one of a kind.
But to truly appreciate New Zealand’s natural beauty, you have to check it out for yourself.
Our country is best viewed on foot, from a bike, or a kayak – getting active and getting out there in our national parks is the way to go.
There’s never been a better time to get involved than Conservation Week.
You won’t regret it, and your health will thank you for it.
The National-led Government’s conservation efforts to better preserve our landscape and our national parks have been targeted at both native flora and fauna.
The Department of Conservation’s Community Conservation Partnerships Fund has strengthened community group efforts to halt the spread of wilding pines, preserve the endangered galaxiid fish family, and restore both whitebait numbers and habitat in Christchurch.
Earlier this year we launched the War on Weeds, a nationwide effort focused on the “Dirty Dozen” – 12 common weeds causing problems throughout the country.
It’s estimated the agricultural sector is around $1.2 billion a year out of pocket because of the damage these weeds cause.
Last year we also began the Battle for our Birds, an eight-month anti-predator campaign to protect our most vulnerable native bird species.
The campaign was a huge success. More than 600,000 hectares of conservation estate were covered, and field monitoring showed rat and stoat numbers fell to almost undetectable levels at several sites.
As a Government we look forward over the coming months to seeing the invaluable work so many community groups do every day in looking after New Zealand’s landscape.
We all play a caretaker role in preserving New Zealand’s landscape. It’s vital that while we enjoy it, we allow it to thrive and make sure it retains its natural beauty for the generations to come.