Parliamentary Commissioner for Environment Moved by ‘Old Blue’ Environmental Award
Forest & Bird awarded the outgoing Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment an ‘Old Blue’ for her significant contribution to New Zealand’s environment and wildlife.
Dr Jan Wright was emotional after receiving her award at Forest & Bird’s Sanderson Memorial Dinner on Saturday evening. She says her office works hard to make science easy to understand, and recognition from Forest & Bird reminded her of the real-world impact their reports have.
Dr Wright sat down after receiving her award to reflect on New Zealand’s unique bird heritage, and how we can protect it in the future.
Forest & Bird Chief Executive Kevin Hague says, “Over ten years, Dr Jan Wright’s insightful reports have illuminated complex environmental subjects and in many cases fundamentally improved public appreciation of those issues.
“Forest & Bird is particularly appreciative of Dr Wright’s report on 1080, which paved the way for greater acceptance of its role in protecting native animals and forests.”
Other important investigations include the consequences of climate change; water quality; protection of stewardship land; mining on the conservation estate, and the status and management of longfin eel.
“A signature of Dr Wright’s reports has been her willingness to address the biggest environmental issue of our time – climate change – and examine how New Zealanders can reduce and manage the threats it presents to both ourselves and our wildlife.”
Dr Wright’s latest report, on the desperate state of our native birds, clearly laid out what it might take to see thriving populations on the mainland again.
“Having someone with Jan’s intellectual rigour leading inquiries into New Zealand’s most pressing environmental questions has been invaluable for both policy makers and the people of New Zealand, and Forest & Bird thank her for her work,” says Mr Hague.
Forest & Bird’s national conservation awards are held annually. They recognise people who have made an outstanding contribution to conservation.
Old Blue was the Chatham Island Black Robin who saved her whole species from extinction. Previous winners of the Old Blue award include Dr Roger Grace, Craig Potton, Dr Liz Slooten, Dr Mike Joy, and Don Merton who saved the original Old Blue, and her species.