Dr James Russell writes:
New Zealand is the world leader in killing invasive predators. We’re so good at it, other countries around the world seek our help and advice for their own eradication projects.
Yay, we’re the best pest killers around 🙂
The Government has said no, but by any standard scaling up our efforts by the order of magnitude required to achieve a pest-free New Zealand by 2050 is a giant leap from where we are now.
Can we do it? I believe we can and I think we must. The Government’s decision to commit a further $28 million to the 2050 goal on top of the $60m to $80m already spent on pest control every year is a significant step forward and, perhaps more important, demonstrates the leadership required. It sets up a multi-year programme which successive governments must all support – our precious biodiversity, unique in the world, must be seen as more than a political football.
Over time much more funding will be needed, but as progress is seen, I am sure this will occur. And there is a significant economic return on doing so.