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New Zealand’s Environment is in Serious Trouble

Mount Cook, highest Mountain in the Southern alps of New Zealand

New Zealand’s Environment is in Serious Trouble

It's known around the world for it's pristine environment, full of wonderful bird life and incredible mountains. However according to the latest audit from the New Zealand government,  New Zealand's environment is in serious trouble. 

New Zealand’s Environment is in Serious Trouble

The report, “Environment Aotearoa 2019“, is the first major look into New Zealand’s environment in four years. The report is based on findings from official government sources and 80 different environmental indicators, like biodiversity, land use, pollution due to human activity, freshwater and marine environment use, and New Zealand’s changing climate.

The report concludes that “the area of urban land increased by 10 percent between 1996 and 2012,” and because cities often developed in some of the most fertile areas, this means that so-called “versatile” land is being swallowed up by increasing urban sprawl.

Reduced biodiversity is the result of human encroachment, which has led to the extinction of 75 species and caused particular harm to the birdlife.  Estimates suggest that as many as 90 percent of seabirds and 80 percent of shorebirds are now threatened or at risk of extinction. Almost two-thirds of New Zealand’s rare ecosystems are under threat of collapse, and over the last 15 years the extinction risk worsened for 86 species, compared with the conservation status of just 26 species improving in the past 10 years.

The scale of what is being lost is impossible to accurately gauge, as only about 20% of New Zealand’s species have been identified and recorded.

Here are five everyday changes you can make to help reduce your impact on the environment:

1. Walk to as many places as possible, cycle or use public transport to limit your carbon footprint.

2. Recycle.

3. Use non-plastic reusable water bottles.

4. Buy local produce, grass fed meat and GMO free foods.

5. Use natural or chemical-free cleaning products where possible.

 

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