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Entries to the 27th annual Green Ribbon Awards are set to close next Wednesday and all unsung environment and conservation heroes are being encouraged to step forward.

“We’ve had some fantastic entries so far. It’s inspiring to hear so many exceptional stories of environment and conservation initiatives being undertaken across the country,” Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

The Green Ribbon Awards are held annually to recognise outstanding contributions by individuals, communities and organisations to protect and manage the environment.

The categories cover biodiversity, resilience to climate change, waste minimisation, caring for fresh water, coastal and ocean protection, leadership, philanthropy and partnerships, and there is a Supreme Winner category.

“Last year our supreme winner was Te Whangai Trust. Every year they provide half a million eco-sourced native plants and more than 156,000 volunteer hours. They have made a significant difference in the Waikato region, restoring ecosystems, wildlife corridors and waterways’” Ms Barry says.

“We will also be awarding the prestigious Loder Cup for outstanding contributions to the protection of our unique flora and fauna. Previous winners reflect a who's who of New Zealand conservation and include the first recipients Duncan and Davies and Dr Gerry McSweeny.”

“These awards celebrate effort and excellence and inspire others. If you’re making a difference to New Zealand’s natural assets, plants and wildlife, I’d encourage you to put yourself forward and enter the Green Ribbons. We’d love to hear from you,” Ms Barry says.

All finalists will be invited to an awards night banquet at Parliament.

The Green Ribbon Awards close on Wednesday 10 May. To enter the awards, visit www.greenribbonawards.org.nz.

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