A new environmental protection bill will set out new safeguards for species threatened by logging
ANTARCTICA, New Zealand (AP) A new bill introduced in Parliament will set up a new conservation fund to help ensure species that live in the country’s forests are protected from logging, and protect the country from climate change.
The Bill to Protect the Species of New Zealand will establish a fund to protect biodiversity and ensure the country remains on track to meet its greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, Environment Minister Rob Stokes said.
The bill also requires the government to review its policies to ensure the government is taking climate change seriously and to ensure that the country is able to meet the commitments it has made in Paris, Stokes told reporters.
He said the bill also sets up a fund that will help pay for conservation initiatives for species like the Tasmanian Devil and Tasmanian Tiger, as well as other species that are threatened by climate change, including the Maori and other indigenous animals.
Stokes said the funding is designed to ensure it is sustainable for the future.
The funding will come from a separate bill to create the Wildlife Conservation Fund, which is meant to be used to pay for species that the government has designated as threatened by environmental destruction.
The fund will be funded by a separate revenue package and will be managed by the Department of Conservation, Stakes said.
Stakes said the fund will allow the government “to use the money for initiatives like new research on conservation strategies, conservation strategies to support the conservation of threatened species, conservation activities that will support our species and habitats, and other conservation projects.”
Stokes says the fund is intended to help pay down the budget deficit.