Forest & Bird is claiming a huge victory for nature following a Government announcement that New Zealand’s conservation lands will be safe from new mining.
“We are delighted that the Government recognises that protected conservation land means just that. It’s protected," says Forest & Bird Chief Executive Kevin Hague.
In yesterday’s Speech from the Throne, the Government gave a commitment that there would be no new mines on conservation land.
Unique and ecologically rich landscapes such as the Denniston Plateau on the West Coast, which Forest & Bird has been campaigning to save for nearly a decade, will be safe from coal mining under this new policy.
“Ecological experts have agreed that more mining on Denniston will likely drive some of the rare species that live there to extinction,” says Mr Hague.
“This also has big implications for conservation land in the Coromandel, where companies have been prospecting for gold, including in the habitat of critically endangered Archey’s frog.”
Forest & Bird now wants to see land such as the Denniston Plateau, which is currently in the lowest protected category of “stewardship” land, receive the full level of protection it deserves.
“And of course, all coal mining contributes to climate disruption, so we will be continuing to oppose new coal mining in other areas,” says Mr Hague.