Friday, February 4, 2011

we used to have trees here

I love trees and forests. There is so much value in trees - as shelter, as food sources but mainly as themselves - a vital and perfect part of our world. We have cut a lot of trees down here - I cannot stand seeing the pictures of the loggers standing beside a massive kauri that they have just killed - yuck. When the opportunity to plant native forest comes along the lure of quicker money entices some larger groups away - But there are many conservation, activists, trusts, maori and community groups who work very hard to plant and pest-proof areas to save. Thank you to all people involved in this. This report (see correction below) however shows how bad it really is

In figures released by Conservation International, New Zealand's forests are placed only behind Indo-Burma as the most at-risk forest ecosystem in the world.The world's 10 most threatened forest regions have all lost at least 90 percent of their original habitat, and are home to at least 1500 plants which are not found anywhere else. New Zealand's forests were home to 5 percent of its endemic species, Conservation International said, and invasive species, such as rats, stoats and possums, posed the most serious threat to the flora and fauna of New Zealand.
It is shameful but we must get over that and get on with the solutions. Those solution must be holistic and see the wider, interconnected view, otherwise it will just create other, sometimes worse, problems. How do you come up with solutions that haven't been thought of and discarded many times? Well Charlotte Squire at Happyzine had the same dilemna with how to save the Mokihinui River. She conceived of an idea called Wild Energy. She got judges, she got the concept sorted and then launched the competition to come up with alternative ideas of how to generate the power that they expect to get from the dam damn they want to build. The competition ended with 14 ideas - from all around the world. Go and read the entries and add your vote to the hundreds of other votes already cast. Good ideas? Bad ideas? who can say - at least they are ideas.

The greens have come out with these good points
National's $54 million cut to the Department of Conservation's budget was a reckless gamble with the conservation estate, given the extreme level of threats our plants and animals face," Green Party conservation spokesman Kevin Hague said. "If we love our unique spaces and the plants and animals that live there, we'll need to re-prioritise the way we spend our money." He said he planned to introduce a Member's Bill into the House to place complete protection over native plants and animals, since many species still remained unprotected.
A Bill is a start but we need a change in consciousness as kevin says - got any good ideas?

Correction - Kiwiblog has a link to a good article by David Young at Pundit which looks into why this survey and the claims about this country's placing are incorrect and an error. That is good news - sort-of.


Charlotte said...

it's good to just get thinking, to dare to think there's a better way forward. It's good to dare to dream of a greener future. It's not idealistic, unrealistic to brain-storm better ways to manage our valuable environment, it's imperative!

Leanne said...

I live in Wingatui (near Mosgiel) and every day we see the huge log trucks go roaring up Saddle Hill a couple of kms from our property. It just saddens me.

Yes - I know it's all plantation timber - but what was there before the plantations? We seem to be losing our connection with the earth, and I don't know where it will end. But I do know that human dignity falls apart when we fail to honour the natural world.

Marty Mars said...

Kia ora leanne,

Yes we must maintain our connection with the natural world and that connection is the most natural of all.

I enjoy your blog where you illuminate those connections. I grew up in Mosgiel and remember those logging trucks well.