Date: 06 December 2016 Source: Office of the Minister of Conservation
New Zealand's Biodiversity Action Plan 2016-2020 sets out how the country intends to turn the tide of biodiversity loss and counter threats to native species.
Ms Barry leaves for Cancun, Mexico today to attend the International Convention on Biological Diversity, where she will present the new Action Plan to a global audience.
"This is a targeted update of the high-level Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan published in 2000, to meet our international commitments under the Convention, and New Zealand has a strong story to tell about overcoming threats to our biodiversity," Ms Barry says.
"New Zealand's long history of geographical isolation makes these islands a hotspot for biodiversity, but evolution here has also made native species extremely vulnerable."
The updated Action Plan includes Predator Free 2050, the Government's commitment to ridding New Zealand of rats, stoats and possums – the three biggest invasive threats to our biodiversity.
"Halting biodiversity decline is a massive challenge, and we need to join forces with others because it is the only way we can achieve our ambitious goals. Collaboration between DOC, other Government agencies, communities, private landowners, iwi, philanthropists and business can make significant gains.
"Predator Free 2050, the War on Weeds and the largest pest control operation in our history, the Battle for our Birds, are examples of what we need to do to protect our biodiversity."
The Action Plan sets out 20 ambitious and measurable national targets. They include expanding landscape-scale predator control to more than 1 million hectares, removal of 500,000 hectares of wilding conifer infestation and expansion of the Healthy Nature, Healthy People programme.
"I look forward to presenting the updated Action Plan to the Convention this weekend, sharing New Zealand's experiences and learning from those of other nations striving to protect native biodiversity."
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