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Biodiversity in New Zealand

             Biodiversity is a critical issue for New Zealand. This essay attempts to define biodiversity and to examine New Zealand's role in international and national biodiversity issues. It also examines the threats to both human health and endemic species from biodiversity issues. .
             As a signatory of many international treaties New Zealand has obligations to address many of the topical ecological issues from climate change (global warming) to the protection of endangered ecosystems and species. The ratification of the Kyoto protocol on the 10th of December 2002 has resulted in government plans to introduce a carbon tax some time after 2007. New Zealand produces between 70 million and 90 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year with about half the emissions coming from sheep and cattle. This has caused a media flurry and widespread outrage from farmers on the controversial "fart tax". New Zealand is also a signatory on the Convention of Biodiversity (CBD) and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety both of which come into effect on the 11th September 2003. The convention establishes three main goals: The conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits from the use of genetic resources. A list of treaties NZ is a signatory to can be found at http://www.mft.govt.nz/foreign/env/treatiesorg.html. .
             In response to international treaty requirements and the State of New Zealands Environment report which describes biodiversity as New Zealand's most pervasive environmental problem, New Zealand has developed a Biodiversity strategy which aims to conserve and sustainably manage New Zealands biodiversity. We have moved from a colonial mindset which favours economical species over native ones and are embracing a new era of balancing ecological and economic needs.
             What is Biodiversity?.
             Biodiversity is the variety of genomes, species and ecosystems found within a specified geographic region.

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