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Initiatives to protect New Zealand's biodiversity

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Initiatives to protect and manage New Zealand's biodiversity are being implemented in accordance with the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy. To read the strategy and find out about government funded programmes to support the strategy visit the New Zealand biodiversity website.

The Ministry for the Environment's biodiversity work

The Ministry for the Environment works with other government agencies to protect and manage New Zealand’s biodiversity. The Ministry is currently working on the following issues:

The Ministry also administers the Resource Management Act, which includes specific provisions about indigenous biodiversity.

Other government agencies' biodiversity work

Other areas of government work include:

Several Crown research institutes are also involved in research on biodiversity:

Research is also undertaken by other crown research institutes, universities, and other agencies.

Community action on biodiversity

Local government has responsibilities under the Resource Management Act 1991 for maintaining indigenous biological diversity. Regional councils also have some biosecurity duties for pest and weed management. Visit your council’s website through New Zealand Local Government Online. Guidance for local government is available on the Quality Planning website.

Environmental care groups throughout the country do things like:

  • control pests and weeds
  • plant native species
  • fence stream edges
  • grow local native plants from seed
  • remove barriers to migratory fish from streams.

Information about some of the activities of individuals, community and iwi groups is available from:

Community groups are also making a difference in the marine environment. For example, the Fiordland Marine Guardians look after one of New Zealand’s most majestic areas.

Funding for community biodiversity initiatives

The New Zealand Biodiversity website contains information about the contestable funds that are available for community initiatives on biodiversity. 

Some community initiatives can apply for funding through the Community Environment Fund. Previous projects were funded from the Sustainable Management Fund (now closed).

New Zealand's contribution to international initiatives

Loss of biodiversity is a global concern. New Zealand signed the international Convention on Biological Diversity in 1992 and ratified it in 1993. In doing this, we showed our support for international action to protect biodiversity.

The International Convention on Biological Diversity has three objectives:

  1. the conservation of biological diversity
  2. the sustainable use of its components
  3. the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilisation of genetic resources.

For more information visit the Convention on Biological Diversity website.

When we ratified the Convention, we promised to prepare a national strategy to set goals for conservation and sustainable use of our biodiversity – the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy.

Other international action on biodiversity

You can find out more about international action on biodiversity by visiting these websites:



Last updated: 12 March 2008