New Zealand tourism needs to conserve its biodiversity

Published on : Tuesday, October 24, 2017

New Zealand tourismNew Zealand is one of 36 global hotspots for biodiversity boasting of a unique wildlife. This indeed is a major attraction for tourists.

 
About three million international visitors arrive in New Zealand each year, adding NZ$15 billion to the economy. Among these numbers, at least half explore a national park or protected area (PA), but they contribute very little to these conservation lands.

 
As per government policies implemented since 2009, as part of “conservation economy”, opening up business access to national parks is important for economic growth.

 
Globally, biodiversity is in crisis. In New Zealand, a third of the land area is protected. Many animals and plants are found nowhere else, but 80% of the country’s native bird species are in trouble.

 
Biodiversity conservation in PAs is funded mainly from the state budget. Historically, the appropriations for the Department of Conservation (DOC) have been too small to tackle the challenge of protecting some 2800 species considered to be endangered, at risk of extinction or vulnerable.

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