Minister welcomes Conservation Week

  • Maggie Barry

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has welcomed the start of Conservation Week, which this year has a theme of “Discover the world where you live.”

Conservation Week 2014 runs until 9th November. There are more than 150 events planned nationwide, ranging from beach clean ups and special guided night walks, to training dogs to stay away from kiwi and native snail monitoring.

Many of the events are designed to be opportunities for people to take a behind-the-scenes look at projects in their local area and to learn more about conservation.

“It’s great to see so many New Zealanders are exploring their local natural treasures on a regular basis, and it’s encouraging that more people are getting out there with family and friends to visit our National Parks, forests, wetlands, walking tracks and campsites,” says Ms Barry.

A survey prepared for the Department of Conservation shows that last year 74 per cent of New Zealanders – around 2.5 million people – visited public conservation land. That’s a 3 per cent increase on the previous year.

Conservation Week began in 1969 and encourages New Zealanders to connect with their local natural environment. It also highlights the contribution of many individuals, groups and businesses who support conservation, from helping with kiwi and kakapo recovery to clearing weeds or planting native trees in their neighbourhood.

“After 45 years of Conservation Weeks, it’s heartening to see community groups and DOC’s partners getting involved in activities up and down the country, and playing an active role in conservation. Our valued natural landscape is to be treasured and protected and is an important part of what defines us as a nation,” says Ms Barry.

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