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Climate change, Pollution Causing Irreversible Damage to New Zealand’s Marine Environment

Agriculture, forestry and urbanization are increasing the amount of sediment, chemicals and plastics flowing

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Climate Change, Pollution, Damage
FILE - Activists march on Parliament to protest a lack of action on climate change, in Wellington, New Zealand, Sept. 27, 2019. VOA

Climate change, pollution and fishing are causing irreversible damage to New Zealand’s marine environment and putting many birds and mammals at risk of extinction, according to a new report from the nation’s Ministry for the Environment.

The report said New Zealand’s coastline, which stretches for about 15,000 kilometers, is also under increasing pressure from development and shipping. Agriculture, forestry and urbanization are increasing the amount of sediment, chemicals and plastics flowing into the oceans, and contaminating the coastline, it said.

The report said 90 percent of the country’s seabirds and about a quarter of its marine mammals are threatened with extinction, and that 16 percent of New Zealand’s fish stocks had been overfished.

“The sea is a receiving environment for what happens on the land, so our activities on land from the mountains to the sea are having an impact on what we are seeing in the marine environment; growing cities, forestry, agriculture — all delivering increasing amounts of sedimentation,” said Vicky Robertson, New Zealand’s secretary for the environment.

Climate Change, Pollution, Damage
The report said New Zealand’s coastline, which stretches for about 15,000 kilometers, is also under increasing pressure from development and shipping. Pixabay

Warmer seas

The report also confirmed that New Zealand’s sea temperature had risen and was consistent with the global average. It also found sea levels were rising faster than before.

There was a warning, too, that New Zealand could expect more frequent marine heat waves, similar to those in 2017 and 2018, and ocean acidification.

For the first time, data from citizen scientists were used in the government report. Community groups were instructed about how to collect robust data.

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The next official marine environment report is due in three years.

New Zealand is a grouping of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Australia. It has a population of 4.5 million people. (VOA)

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Union Environment Ministry Rolling out Anti-pollution Measures for Delhi NCR region

Pointing out the need for fully implementing the anti-pollution measures, he said that errant officials and those violating norms will be fined. He said the Environment Ministry and the CPCB are monitoring the situation and coordinating with the states on a daily basis

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The country is affected by high levels of air pollution, both ambient and indoors. Pixabay

The Union Environment Ministry and the states in the Delhi NCR region have agreed on a special campaign for rolling out anti-pollution measures, including taking action against negligent officials.

Environment Secretary C.K. Mishra said that the previous instructions of the Ministry, and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) have been reviewed and the instructions in the recent Supreme Court order have been collated into a roadmap and these will be implemented for the next 15 days. The best measures out of these will be used till the end of December on a sustained basis, he added.

After review meeting with officials of the states in the region – Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan – it was decided that negligent officials who are not able to curb pollution will be punished.

Odd-Even scheme
In spite of Odd-Even vehicle rationing scheme, pollution has reached a severe level. Pixabay

“Deliberate omission and negligence will not be tolerated. Accountability will be fixed on officials. Government will intensify its crackdown on those violating anti-pollution norms,” Mishra said.

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Pointing out the need for fully implementing the anti-pollution measures, he said that errant officials and those violating norms will be fined. He said the Environment Ministry and the CPCB are monitoring the situation and coordinating with the states on a daily basis.

He said that there has been a spate of bad meteorology in Delhi NCR due to which pollution spiked, adding that meteorology plays an important role in pollution due to Delhi’s geographical location. “We cannot change the meteorology, what we can do is to bring the level of pollutants down by taking effective measures,” Mishra said. (IANS)