Written By: - Date published: 7:04 am, November 2nd, 2015 - 38 comments
Categories: climate change, Conservation, farming, sustainability, water - Tags: 100% stupid, endangered species, Environment, forests, pollution
New Zealand is a beautiful country, and tourism is our second biggest earner of foreign exchange. We’d be stupid to trash the place, right? But last week:
Swathes of native forest in collapse, say conservation groups
Swathes of native forest are in collapse, conservation groups say, with neglect and a lack of pest control to blame for the crisis.
Forest and Bird said drone footage released today showed dead and dying native trees across Northland. The group said more than 1000 square kilometres of forest was dying, and emergency funding was needed to restore the ecosystem.
“Only sustained neglect over a long time leaves native forests in this state”, said Forest and Bird Northland conservation advocate Dean Baigent-Mercer. …
Ten NZ species closest to extinction identified by newly launched charity
The seaweed, along with Maui dolphins, an Auckland stag beetle, and a Canterbury weevil have won the dubious titles of being just a stroke of luck away from extinction. They are on the new list of New Zealand’s 10 most endangered species, which was revealed alongside the cost of saving the natives at a Wellington event on Wednesday evening.
Besides the Maui dolphin – which took the most endangered spot – and the fairy tern, many of the 10 have the curse of being unknown and uncute.
Conservation Minister Maggie Barry, who attended the launch, said she hoped the foundation would find new funding to save species such as the 10 on the list. “DOC is working with more threatened species, around 300, and across more ecosystems, around 500, than ever before, but it can’t do everything alone.”
No, DOC can’t do everything alone. So let’s help them, let’s resource them! Those millions that the PM wants to spend on pandas (not to mention the flag referenda) would be a damn good place to start.
By coincidence, here’s Rod Oram on Sunday:
How to make NZ’s environmental reporting credible
If you read the government’s latest report on the state of the environment, its first in eight years, you might think we’re doing OK on balance.
Sure, you can see our sharply rising levels of greenhouse gases and the increasing damage done by intensive dairy farming in the report available at bit.ly/MfE2015 But these are presented as continuations of steadily adverse trends rather than escalating problems. …
Continuing adverse trends will kill you just as dead as an escalating problem. Greenhouse emissions and dairy pollution are nothing to get blasé about.
You need a second report, though, to understand what’s really going on. This is the OECD’s 2015 environmental indicators, published this week at bit.ly/OECDenviro2015.
For example, the OECD reports our use of nitrogen fertiliser – the key driver of deteriorating freshwater quality – is the third highest in terms of kg per ha in the OECD after South Korea and Japan.
On greenhouse gases, the NZ report says our net emissions have increased by 33 per cent from 1990 to 2011. But the OECD reports 22 OECD countries have reduced their emissions since 2000. We are one of 11 countries to have increased them.
Worse, virtually all our environmental taxes are on motor vehicles and energy. This means the activities that do most damage to our environment get off scot-free. In contrast, intensive farming countries such as the Netherlands and Denmark collect more environment taxes.
The gap between OECD best practice on environmental reporting and New Zealand’s new approach is large. …
Apparently we’re stupid.