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Lets embrace our role as kaitiaki – the places taonga live need our protection [Video]

IAIN MCGREGOR/Stuff

Human activities are destroying the natural world, leading to the annihilation of animal and plant species at a terrifying rate. Stuff's This Is How It Ends is a documentary series investigating the critical decline of native species.

OPINION: We like to think of ourselves as 100 per cent pure, but a Stuff investigation shows if we keep going the way we are 4000 indigenous species will be extinct by the end of this century.

Does that concern you and what changes should future governments make if we are to change the way we live?

An MP from each side of the house gives their views.

Arena Williams, Labour MP for Manurewa.

Unknown/Supplied

Arena Williams, Labour MP for Manurewa.

Arena Williams, Labour MP Manurewa

Biodiversity can help provide stability and resilience as we adapt to climate change. But we have a biodiversity crisis, with around 4,000 of our native plants and wildlife threatened by or at risk of extinction.

The places these taonga live need our protection.

That is why in Budget 2018 the Government delivered a major funding boost for the Department of Conservation – the biggest increase in more than 15 years. This included $81.3 million for predator control and $76 million for biodiversity initiatives.

Then in Budget 2019 the Government provided Land Information New Zealand with its first baseline funding increase in 10 years, also to support biosecurity and biodiversity programmes.

READ MORE:
* This Is How It Ends: Nature can protect us from climate change
* This Is How It Ends: Nature's dangerous decline is accelerating. Why? It’s us
* 'Everyone wants a legacy': Funding boost to double land protected by QEII Trust over next four years

Last year in response to Covid-19 the Government helped facilitate the redeployment of around 160 workers into biosecurity and conservation projects, and then in Budget 2020 invested more than a billion dollars to create thousands of new jobs in the regions restoring our environment.

We laid the foundations for change last term with our Predator Free 2050 Strategy and Te Mana o te Taiao – the Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy. Now we’re putting those plans into action, as well as enforcing new rules to protect and restore our freshwater, and progressing our comprehensive overhaul of the Resource Management Act.

Climate change is impacting on biodiversity, too. We’re seeing shifts in the range of some species, and earlier timing of leaf-unfolding, bird migration and egg-laying in others.

The Government has already banned new offshore oil and gas exploration, started upgrading schools and hospitals to run on clean energy, introduced the Clean Car Discount, and sponsored the Zero Carbon Act. Now we’re consulting on the Emissions Reduction Plan that will help us meet our first ever emissions budget.

Protecting the places our native plants and wildlife live is a big task. It means thinking carefully about how what we do impacts the marine and land ecosystems around us, and seeking to minimise those impacts. We can all play a role in that.

I still remember the first time I saw an ad for the Ko Tātou This Is Us campaign. You might recall a beautiful and thought-provoking video, with a kuia looking back on her life and urging New Zealanders to understand that everything that shapes our way of life is finite and fragile, and that we must all play our part in protecting it.

Let’s embrace our role as kaitiaki.

Kaikōura MP Stuart Smith

Ricky Wilson/Stuff

Kaikōura MP Stuart Smith

Stuart Smith, National MP Kaikōura

There is no doubt that human actions have fundamentally changed the planet, we have evolved to achieve incredible things over the last 1000 years, from discovering fire to walking on the moon.

Biodiversity is a spectacular part of science, it is how we live, and it’s in the air we breathe and in the greenery and forests that we see most mornings in New Zealand. Humans do depend on biodiversity, just the same as birds rely on insects, and some plants rely on bees for pollination.

Successive Governments have worked hard on conservation policy which has had an effect on the way we treat our environment. The National Government introduced Predator Free 2050, which is a prime example of this, and it recognises that many of the species and plants that we have here in New Zealand are found nowhere else in the world, and need to be protected. The existence of birds like the Kakariki and the Kea will benefit hugely from Predator Free 2050.

We must not forget our farmers either, they have consistently protected, at their expense, a vast area for native biodiversity in accordance with the Queen Elizabeth II (QEII) trust covenants. Charitable trusts like QEII do an incredible job to assist farmers with protecting and enhancing open spaces of ecological and cultural significance.

The work that is being done to protect wetland, sand dunes and riparian vegetation amongst others, by our farmers is fantastic and should be more widely acknowledged.

All in all, we are making some progress on this, we have our climate change targets that the last National Government signed up to in 2015. The key though is taking everyone with us and being pragmatic about the policies we use to mitigate climate change and protect our biodiversity.

New Zealand cannot afford to bury businesses and farmers in more environmental regulation that is only going to make it harder for them. We need to work alongside businesses and farmers, use tools like the Emissions Trading Scheme, which will enable us to achieve our goals.

Government should test policies for their effectiveness before they introduce them. It is not encouraging that this has not been done in the draft ‘Emissions Reduction Plan’ that was released recently.

We need strong, pragmatic and effective policies like Predator Free 2050 and we need to support trusts like QEII who are actively on the ground in our regions doing the hard yards with our farmers.

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Nature

Wildlife Moments - The World's Weirdest Animals [Video]

Wildlife Moments - The World's Weirdest Animals | Wildlife Documentary Watch 'The Most Emotional Wildlife Moments' here: https://youtu.be/9czmcenMksI Nature has many weird creatures to offer and often these animals fascinate us the most. There are ants in Australia's outback that use specialised workers as living honey pots. In Africa in the endless Bangweulu wetlands of Zambia the shoebill is on the hunt for fish, a bird that definitely lives up to its name. Finally in the Brazilian rainforests lurk gruesome river monsters in the Amazon abyss that send shivers down the spine of even the most experienced divers. But there are also intense human-animal-relationships like the close bond between a German diver and a dolphin female who explore the Atlantic off the coast of Ireland, or the "easy rider" in California who has taken care of an African elephant bull for more than 25 years. Weird! is a breath-taking journey to visit animals around the globe who are somehow different. Subscribe Free Documentary - Nature Channel for free: http://bit.ly/2mFDC3Q Facebook: https://bit.ly/2QfRxbG Twitter: https://bit.ly/2QlwRiI #FreeDocumentaryNature #Documentary #Wildlife Free Documentary is dedicated to bring high-class documentaries to you on youtube for free. With the latest camera equipment used by well-known filmmakers working for famous production studios. You will see fascinating shots from the deep seas and up in the air, capturing great stories and pictures from everything our beautiful and interesting planet has to offer. Enjoy stories about nature, wildlife, culture, people, history and more to come.

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Nature

Band of Bears - In the Forests of Scandinavia - Part 1 | Wildllife DocumentaryWatch 'Band of Bears - Part 2' here: https://youtu.be/t763aFsGg7gHigh up in Europe’s north lies the kingdom of the brown bears: hidden in the forests of Finland, Sweden and Norway, many thousands of bears live to this day. In the middle of winter, when outside, veritable tons of snow blanket their caves, the females give birth to their cubs. For months, the bear cubs remain close to their mother and are warmed and suckled, before the triplets begin to discover their world outside of the cave. Together with the three cubs – the "band of bears" – this exceptional nature film takes us on a journey of discovery in Scandinavia’s wild forests – in the homes of the mighty moose and clever wolves, to the rare forest reindeer and hovering, flying squirrels.▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬Subscribe Free Documentary - Nature Channel for free: http://bit.ly/2mFDC3QFacebook: https://bit.ly/2QfRxbGTwitter: https://bit.ly/2QlwRiI▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬#FreeDocumentaryNature #Documentary #BandOfBears▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬Free Documentary is dedicated to bring high-class documentaries to you on youtube for free. With the latest camera equipment used by well-known filmmakers working for famous production studios. You will see fascinating shots from the deep seas and up in the air, capturing great stories and pictures from everything our beautiful and interesting planet has to offer. Enjoy stories about nature, wildlife, culture, people, history and more to come.

Categories
Nature

Band of Bears - In the Forests of Scandinavia - Part 2 | Wildlife DocumentaryWatch 'Band of Bears - Part 1' here: https://youtu.be/j6vM_xlfJjIHigh up in Europe’s north lies the kingdom of the brown bears: hidden in the forests of Finland, Sweden and Norway, many thousands of bears live to this day. In the middle of winter, when outside, veritable tons of snow blanket their caves, the females give birth to their cubs. For months, the bear cubs remain close to their mother and are warmed and suckled, before the triplets begin to discover their world outside of the cave. Together with the three cubs – the "band of bears" – this exceptional nature film takes us on a journey of discovery in Scandinavia’s wild forests – in the homes of the mighty moose and clever wolves, to the rare forest reindeer and hovering, flying squirrels.▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬Subscribe Free Documentary - Nature Channel for free: http://bit.ly/2mFDC3QFacebook: https://bit.ly/2QfRxbGTwitter: https://bit.ly/2QlwRiI▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬#FreeDocumentaryNature #Documentary #BandOfBears▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬Free Documentary is dedicated to bring high-class documentaries to you on youtube for free. With the latest camera equipment used by well-known filmmakers working for famous production studios. You will see fascinating shots from the deep seas and up in the air, capturing great stories and pictures from everything our beautiful and interesting planet has to offer. Enjoy stories about nature, wildlife, culture, people, history and more to come.