Conservation and Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage visiting Antarctica

Conservation and Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage is travelling to Antarctica today to see first-hand the research being done on climate change and conservation.

Ms Sage will visit scientists and Scott Base staff to discuss their work and learn about New Zealand’s leading environmental management expertise in Antarctica during her visit of 6-9 of February.

“The research being done in Antarctica is important to the world, the ice tells us a story of global warming and sea level rise that we need to hear and act on,” Ms Sage said.

“I am interested in hearing more about how the research and monitoring plan for the newly-established Ross Sea region Marine Protected Area is being implemented, and new proposals for other marine protected areas to be considered by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.

“I want to better understand the priorities for research work on conservation and marine ecosystems and climate change funded through the Strategic Science Investment Fund.

“The Southern Ocean provides important foraging areas for a wide range of New Zealand seabirds. Antarctic ecosystems and climate patterns strongly influence availability of this food source. It is vital for us to understand these processes to ensure the conservation of these species.

“I will also be able to check on plans for future redevelopment and modernisation of Scott Base and discuss and see first-hand the benefits of the ongoing co-operation between the New Zealand and the United States Antarctic Programmes when I visit McMurdo Station and the National Science Foundation.”

Note to Editors

Under the Conservation Act 1987, the Department of Conservation has a responsibility to promote international cooperation on matters relating to conservation, and the conservation of natural and historic resources of the Ross Dependency and Antarctica. Land Information NZ has responsibility for hydrographic and tide change measurement, and does research important in assessing the impacts of climate change and sea level rise on Antarctica.