New Zealand has received the worst possible ranking, last amongst 130 countries, for its protection of threatened species, according to the World Economic Forum’s latest Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report (T&TCR)
Care for the Wild International chief executive, Dr Barbara Maas, who is currently in New Zealand, says, “The T&TCR provides a timely wake-up call for New Zealand as the Government considers what protection will be afforded to the endangered Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins.”
The comprehensive T&TCR report ranks nations’ international competitiveness as a tourism destination. This year New Zealand dropped five places overall to 19th out of 130 countries as the report took a greater focus on environmental sustainability to reflect the increasing importance visitors place on countries’ environmental performance. Last year New Zealand ranked 14th, just behind Australia but in this year’s report, Australia was ranked fourth while New Zealand’s ranking fell five places.
“New Zealanders rightly take great pride in their country’s ‘clean &green’ credentials. However, despite making progress in some areas, this report shows that when it comes to caring for native wildlife, this perception is simply not based on reality.”
Stop Their Extinction launches today (Friday 21 September) with a national day of action, when teams of WWF volunteers and students from university environmental campaign network SANE (Students of Aotearoa Network for our Earth) will take to the streets in Auckland, Dunedin, Hamilton, Palmerston North and Wellington asking New Zealanders to sign the Stop Their Extinction petition.
Marie Haley, Marine Coordinator for SANE said: “This is our opportunity to tell the government what we want for Hector’s and Maui’s. So, it’s in our hands – right now we all have a chance to stop our dolphins from becoming extinct, which is incredible. Would we as a nation say no to the protection of the kiwi or the kakapo ?