WCC 2016 Rec 102 - Activity Report

General Information
IUCN Constituent: 
Environment and Conservation Organisations of New Zealand
IUCN Constituent type: 
IUCN Member
Period covered: 
Geographic scope: 
New Zealand
In implementing this Resolution your organization has worked/consulted with...
IUCN Members: 
Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand / New Zealand
Department of Conservation / New Zealand
IUCN Secretariat: 
Other non-IUCN related organisations: 
A variety of New Zealand environmental NGOs, scientists, community members. In opposition to the New Zealand Petroleum and Mining division and other sections of the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
Indicate and briefly describe any actions that have been carried out to implement this Resolution: 
Education/Communication/Raising awarenessECO has used not only formal mechanisms but also a variety of communication and awareness raising mechanisms to allow civil society and the public and scientific community to present the case for the achieving the operative paragraphs of WCC-2016-Rec-102-EN.On-going
Policy influencing/advocacyECO, Royal Forest and Bird Protection Organisation of NZ, and numerous other groups have worked together to achieve a policy announced in late 2017 and reaffirmed in 2019 by the New Zealand government of "no new mines on Conservation land". This has yet to be implemented. There is a stalemate with the Minister of Conservation wanting the policy implemented, and the Minister of Energy and Resources and her industry lobbyists opposed. Instead they want to re-classify much of the conservation land out of that status, and to allow new industrial mining on conservation land and to allow mining where the permit holders already hold exploration permits or have an expectation of renewal of permits. We have pressed for the policy to be implemented, and we have submitted against the stalling of the policy implementation and its undermining with delays, suggestions that you can mining under but not on conservation land, and other devices. We have also filed objections to coal and other mining on conservation land. On infrastructure, we are contesting policy and draft law that would exempt national infrastructure projects from rules for water and aquatic ecosystem protections. We have also objected to proposals for industrial scale recreation and tourism facilities on protected areas. In the marine realm, we have few protected areas so we press instead for the creation of these and the exclusion of incompatible activities in areas of significant biodiversity. These include industrial fishing and seabed mining.On-going
Please report on the result /achievement of the actions taken: 
The "no new mines on conservation land" policies have been announced but are not implemented because of pressure from some Ministers and some others in the NZ government to reclassify and re-gazette conservation land out of conservation status. Vocal mining and petroleum interests and a few localised communities with a history of mining and of resentment of the creation of protected areas are pressuring the government. Even though the New Zealand Prime Minister and the Conservation minister announced the policy it is being blocked. Some major damaging infrastructure projects, particularly for tourism, have been averted due to public pressure and due process, but others have proceeded, even in very sensitive ecological areas. Some areas of sensitive and important biodiversity, especially in the marine environment, have been consistently blocked by pressure from the fishing industry. Most egregious, is that a quid pro quo for a fake set of "Benthic Protected Areas", now mostly known as Bogus Protected Areas in New Zealand's EEZ, has continued to deny New Zealand MPAs in the EEZ. An agreement by a new fisheries minister and the NZ Fishing industry promised that there would be
What challenges have you encountered in implementing this Resolution and what measures have you taken to overcome them?: 
Well heeled and influential extractive interests and the agencies of government who should regulate them, combining to block protection and to dismantle protections. Until recently the government was happy to pretend that the Bogus Protected Areas were genuine. This has changed. The Conservation Minister faces an uphill battle to prevail over vested interests.
Identify and briefly describe what future actions are planned for the implementation of this Resolution: 
Future ActionDescription
Convene stakeholders/NetworkingNetworking and convening environmental organisations is central to our DNA and we will continue to do this.
Education/Communication/Raising awarenessPublic campaigning and educating officials and the public on the vital benefits of protected areas, of wilderness, of the benefits of a non-industrialised environment and of the alternatives to mining, industrial scale tourism and infrastructure.
Policy influencing/advocacyWe will continue to press for a resource policy for resource substitution (eg planation timber not steel and concrete buildings); for reuse, recovery and recycling; for public and active transport rather than roads; and the need to shift to a low impact, biodiversity-friendly and sustainable life-styles. When formal methods fail, our members are likely to occupy and block sites that should be protected.