Urgent action needed to bring the natural environment back to the brink

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Today’s publication of Environment Aotearoa 2022 is a sobering reminder of what is at stake if the government does not step in and take urgent action to protect plants, wildlife, habitats and ecosystems. natives of Aotearoa in New Zealand.

“There can be no more excuses now. Urgent action is needed to bring our natural environment back to the brink and protect our native species, forests, rivers and oceans for present and future generations,” said Eugénie Sage, Green Party spokesperson for the environment.

“A healthy nature is the basis of our collective well-being. In order to be able to take care of each other, we must first take care of Te Taiao and connect with him. The latest state of the environment report shows that this has not happened to the extent that it should.

“The environmental crisis is directly linked to the inequality crisis in Aotearoa. The report shows that low-income people have less access to green spaces and their many well-being benefits. In fact, as the report shows, public green spaces in urban areas are low compared to Europe. As we move toward low-emission cities, we must protect urban trees, create new pocket parks, and promote green infrastructure.

“In almost every case, the report underscores the importance of the work that Greens, along with iwi and hapū, community organizations, landowners, councils and others, are doing to lend a helping hand to nature. .

“For starters, the Green Party’s call on government to ban bottom trawling on seamounts is now long overdue. Today’s report highlights that this harmful practice damages the seabed and its habitats. Even after trawling stops, ecosystems may remain damaged and show little sign of recovery for long periods.

“Our call on the government to ban mining on protected lands is more important than ever. Three out of four frog species are also threatened with extinction, including Archey’s frog, which is in immediate danger due to potential mining activities at Coromandel.

“We can also see a decline in the health of the oceans, which confirms why comprehensive reform of the Marine Reserves Act and new Marine Protected Areas legislation, which includes our Exclusive Economic Zone, is also a high priority for the Green Party.

“In short, the State of the Environment Report shows that New Zealand is losing its rare and native species and ecosystems at an alarming rate. We know how to reverse this trend and we must act now.

“Ninety percent of seabirds; 94 percent of reptile species; and 74 percent of landbird species are threatened with extinction or at risk of becoming threatened. In total, almost 4,000 of our native species are in trouble – and the situation is expected to get worse. It is simply unacceptable.

“For decades, politicians knew an environmental disaster was unfolding. Successive governments have had the chance to stop it. But they didn’t. And so now it falls to this government.

“It is time to accelerate efforts to protect the environment and to respond to the scale of the crisis with the urgency it demands,” said Eugénie Sage.

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