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NZ begins global March for Science

dpa logodpa 22/04/2017

New Zealand is first to make a statement about the importance of science in a Global March for Science.

Hundreds of scientists and supporters have gathered in New Zealand cities to kick off the worldwide March for Science, a movement defending the role of science in society and calling for evidence-based politics.

"Climate change has been ground zero for alternative facts for many years now," climate science professor James Renwick said at the march in Wellington on Saturday.

Understanding the way the climate was changing was a science problem but working out how to deal with it was a social and a political problem, he said.

"We must have good science informing good policy," he said.

The Paris Agreement, from which US President Donald Trump has threatened to withdraw, was a great achievement in policy terms but action was necessary, he said.

More than 600 pro-science satellite marches were planned around the world on Saturday, with the main event in the US capital Washington expected to draw large crowds.

Protesters gathered in Wellington, Dunedin, Queenstown, Christchurch, Palmerston North and Auckland to show their solidarity with colleagues in the US protesting against the policies of the Trump administration.

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