A review of some aspects of the protection of native flora in New Zealand
The many special features of the New Zealand environment are the culmination of its natural and geological history and, more latterly, human history. The isolation of New Zealand for such a long time ensured that it remained free from human influence until comparatively recent times. Early human settlers modified the natural environment and introduced many new species. Within a relatively short time, New Zealand was transformed from a natural landscape to a largely cultural landscape, with few unmodified areas remaining today. In addition, many native species were significantly reduced in both population and distribution. With the advances in civilisation, a new conservation ethic developed in both the Polynesian and European cultures. The formal establishment of the colony in 1840 led shortly afterwards to the enactment of statutory provisions for conservation, including the protection of native flora. Conservation passed through several phases during its "evolution" in New Zealand, phases which were, and still are, reflected in the protected areas legislation. Today there is a comprehensive legislative and administrative framework established with respect to conservation, of which an holistic perspective exists. Included in the framework is a range of provisions for the protection of native flora. Consideration of current provisions for the protection of native flora in New Zealand, and some other countries, leads to the conclusion that there are both inadequacies and inefficiencies in this regard. The recent and ongoing reorganisation of environmental administration and rationalisation of resource management and protected areas legislation has gone some way towards improving the situation with respect to conservation, including the protection of native plants. However, there is potential, and indeed a need, for further changes and improvements to be made, with respect to the protection of native flora in New Zealand.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsplant protection; native plants; New Zealand; natural landscape; plant population; plant distribution; conservation; environmental legislation; holistic perspective; Native Plants Protection Act 1934
Fields of Research050205 Environmental Management; 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity; 050209 Natural Resource Management
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