Project Janszoon wins international conservation award

Department of Conservation director of partnerships Nelson Jan Hania, left, Pam Holyoake of the Abel Tasman Birdsong ...
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Department of Conservation director of partnerships Nelson Jan Hania, left, Pam Holyoake of the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust, Project Janszoon Director Devon McLean, Roger Wolens of The Green Organisation and Project Janszoon trustee Geoff Harley at the awards ceremony.

A multi million-dollar partnership working to restore the Abel Tasman National Park has won an international award. 

Project Janszoon was the winner of the Conservation, Habitat and Diversity section of the Green World Environmental Awards.

It also won the conservation section for New Zealand as part of the related Green Apple Awards.

Project Janszoon director Devon McLean was delighted to receive the awards.

"It is wonderful to have international recognition for a conservation project in New Zealand. This award acknowledges the work of the Project Janszoon team and our partners, the Department of Conservation and the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust."

He said the project had been getting interest from other New Zealand conservation groups.

"But this is the first opportunity to make the project more obvious on the world stage."

Project Janszoon received the awards in Christchurch on Monday. It won against more than 500 other nominations.

Project Janszoon is three years into a 30-year project to restore the biodiversity and birdlife of the popular coastal park. Funded by an Auckland family trust, the more than $25 million project covers 19,130 hectares.

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Spokesperson Robyn Janes said the win put Project Janszoon on the world stage.

"We are already having a lot of interest from overseas - what we are doing and how the model works."

Department of Conservation director general Lou Sanson said international recognition of Project Janszoon's leadership in conservation was well deserved.

"The Janszoon Trust is at the forefront of private-public partnerships in conservation here and is making great strides working with DOC and the community to restore nature in our most popular national park. ."

The Green World Environmental Awards are run by The Green Organisation. The international non-profit environment group is dedicated to recognising, rewarding and promoting environmental best practice around the world.

Chief executive Roger Wolens, who travelled to New Zealand to present the award, said Project Janszoon stood out because of its scale, its partnership between its philanthropic funders and wildlife organisations and the extent of its funding and long-term planning.

"That sort of co-operation is unusual."

The Green World publishes case studies of  the winners, which were available through global reference libraries and conservation groups so others could follow their lead,  he said. 

This year Project Janszoon also won the supreme award and the philanthropy and partnership category, in New Zealand's national Green Ribbon Awards.

 - Stuff

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