The Ministry of Environment in New Zealand has published a study revealing that the country's environmental status has deteriorated during recent years. Urban expansion and dairy farming are among the challenges facing New Zealand, as is air and water pollution and dwindling biodiversity.
New Zealand, known for its natural beauty and most people think of images of clear lakes and wooded mountains, has seen an increase in environmental concerns in recent years, according to the 2019 Environment Aotearoa report.
On Thursday, April 18, the New Zealand Ministry of the Environment collaborated with Statistics New Zealand to release a report on environmental issues. Water pollution, decreasing biodiversity, and urban development are just a few of the problems that New Zealand faces, according to the study. The dairy farming industry's spread is also hurting the environment. It was created by the Ministry of Agriculture and it has had a serious impact on New Zealand's water quality.
The report says that between 2012 and 2017, the average score for environmental indicators decreased from 63 percent to 61 percent. Water pollution was one of the main reasons for the decline in water quality, with 62 percent of monitored sites having poor water quality. This is due to dairy farming and urban growth.
The country's prime environmental problem, according to the survey, is pollution. The report identifies nine major environmental problems facing New Zealand. The first of these is a danger to local plant and animal species and the entire ecosystem. Four thousand distinct plants and animals are at risk.
The second issue is soil erosion. It occurs when rainfall or irrigation washes away topsoil, which contains nutrients essential for plant growth. Soil erosion is a major problem on farms, particularly in hill country.
The third concern mentioned in the study is agricultural regions' water pollution. Water in these places is tainted with fertilizers, sludge, and germs. This endangers freshwater ecosystems and makes many reservoir waters hazardous to drink and enjoy nearby. Another issue is the disruption of river water flows and aquifer groundwater levels as a result of hydroelectric power plants.
The fourth problem is the environment in urban areas. We are talking about the pollution of the air, water and environment in general by garbage, sewage, harmful emissions into the atmosphere, etc. The environment in the ocean is negatively affected by fishing. Although commercial fishing and its associated environmental pressures have decreased somewhat in recent years, the powerful modern fishing vessels can have the same environmental impact as the larger fishing fleet of a few decades ago.
New Zealanders Find a Way to Help the Environment
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New Zealand has a high rate of greenhouse gas emissions per capita, which the researchers characterize as the eighth issue. In 2015, New Zealand had 17.5 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, placing it in the top 10 among industrialized nations. Emissions in New Zealand are primarily driven by livestock and vehicle use.
Finally, the ninth difficulty is that climate change has already impacted New Zealand. The study mentions things like rising temperatures, increasing sea levels (by 14-22 cm in the last 100 years), greater acidity of ocean waters, and melting glaciers (in the last 40 years, New Zealand's glaciers have lost about 25% of their ice).
The release of the report has spurred a lot of reaction from New Zealanders. The general feeling seems to be one of worry and a need for change. The report has also encouraged people to appreciate the beauty of the country even more and work together to preserve it.
The environmental movement has been successful in achieving a number of important goals, including the establishment of a number of national parks, the introduction of laws to protect endangered species, and the adoption of policies to promote sustainable development. In recent years, the movement has been increasingly active in campaigning against the proposed expansion of coal mining in New Zealand, and in support of action on climate change.
Looking to the future, the environmental movement in New Zealand is likely to continue to be a powerful force for change, as it strives to protect the country's unique natural heritage and to promote a sustainable future for all New Zealanders.