-NEW ZEALAND-Keiren and Rhian

1.Determine the population of the country you have selected and any other facts/stats on your country that you deem relevant (geographic location, climate etc). A picture of the country’s flag

Population: 4,115,771 (July 2007 est.)

Capital: Wellington Geographic Coordinates: 41 00 S, 174 00 E

Climate: Temperate with sharp regional contrasts

Population growth rate: 0.971% (2008 est.)

2. What is the overall environmental health status of your country? Identify a major landmark/area within your country that is experiencing environmental issues.

Protecting Indigenous Habitats and Biological Diversity
Issues and Examples

90 percent of New Zealand’s wetlands have been drained or degraded; lowland forest areas have been reduced to 15 percent of their pre-Maori extent; only 10 percent of the tall tussock grassland that existed in 1840 still remains.
Half of New Zealand’s endemic bird species have become extinct since people first came to New Zealand. About 500 species of animals and plants are now threatened.

Some other environmental issues that New Zealand faces are:

- climate change
- pollution/waste
- sustainable fisheries
- managing New Zealand’s water resources

3. Discuss the human impacts that may lead to the environmental damage highlighted above.
Since the arrival of the first settlers on New Zealand, many birds and animals have gone extinct or been close, these animals have gone extinct because of over hunting and removal of Natural Habitats. Also species have gone extinct because of the Europeans when they arrived, they introduced many alien species which have slowly taken over the land and killed off some Native of the Native birds and animals.

What strategies are the government bodies or other groups within your country implementing to combat the environmental issues?
More Sustainable water use, managing marine resources, reducing waste, and improving their energy efficiency are all important for improving the environmental sustainability. The New Zealand Government are also working on water quality and flood risk management.

5. Are the strategies being implemented above going to make a significant difference? How/why? Is there another way they could combat the issue? What is your opinion?

6. Looking at the effects of climate change on a global scale, will your country be affected by a rise in sea levels? Discuss how the Antarctic melting may lead to dire effects on the land and broader population.
The impact of sea level rise from global warming could be catastrophic for many developing countries – the World Bank estimates that even a one meter rise would turn at least 56 million people in the developing world into environmental refugees.

7. What is your country doing in regards to sustainable energy sources?
New Zealand has the potential to become the first country to be totally dependent on renewable energy sources. Already hydro power supplies 70% of the total electricity demand and geothermal a further 5%. The challenge is to phase out the remaining 25% thermal power generation and to provide sufficient liquid transport fuels from the biomass resources. Wind farming is a feasible alternative using wood-fired power generation and landfill gas plants to meet peak demands.
Currently there are no government incentives for renewable energy under the free market economy but a sustainable energy future is feasible in the long term.

8. Has your country signed on the Kyoto protocol?

The Kyoto protocol is and international plan to reduce green house gas emissions.
New Zealand has signed the protocol on the 19th of December 2002.