Celebration of conservation

Connecting people with conservation work and issues in their area is the aim of this year's Conservation Week, with its theme being Meet the Locals.

To celebrate the week, a range of activities will be held throughout Otago, from planting days to picking up litter.

Department of Conservation events co-ordinator Liz Sherwood, of Dunedin, said it was also an opportunity for people to learn about local species, and meet and celebrate local people who throughout the year work hard to protect our special places and wildlife.

Two special functions marking the Otago Conservation Awards will celebrate the efforts of volunteers throughout the region.

The Otago Daily Times will profile the award finalists in a series running from Monday and highlight places and species of interest in a "Meet the Locals" column.

The Coastal Otago area office had organised some events, but most were arranged by local conservation groups and would be run by them, Ms Sherwood said.

"I think this reflects the depth of community involvement and commitment to conservation issues in and around Dunedin."

The NZ Marine Studies Centre, the NZ Sea Lion Trust and Doc will launch their just developed New Zealand sea lion education programme.

Another significant event involves preparation for a Pa Harakeke - a plantation of southern flax varieties - at Orokonui.

The week will be capped off with a conservation expo at the Octagon next Saturday.

The Otago Daily Times' coverage of Conservation Week begins today on page 49 and 51 in the Magazine.section.


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