Funding available for freshwater biodiversity protection
19 March 2013
Funding available for local freshwater biodiversity protection
The Canterbury Water Regional Committee has more than $45,000 of funding still available to support local biodiversity programmes in the upper Rakaia and Rangitata catchments and landowners and groups are being invited to submit proposals.
The money, which is part of a larger biodiversity funding programme, is specifically intended to support local freshwater biodiversity values in the upper Rakaia and Rangitata catchments, above the gorges.
Environment Canterbury Senior Biodiversity Advisor Frances Schmechel said the funding will support on-the-ground actions.
“The Regional Committee has already provided close to $200,000 for fencing and weed control since 2011 to support projects which focus on protecting freshwater values in Canterbury, and we are looking for more worthy initiatives to support as part of implementing the regional flagship programmes.
“We are looking for projects that will protect the ecosystem health of freshwater habitats such as wetland and spring-fed streams, and initiatives that protect native fish and mahinga kai sites.
“Protecting and restoring ecosystems is good for our communities as it provides aesthetic and cultural benefits, recreational opportunities, tourism and economic benefits, as well as helping to improve water quality in our rivers, lakes and wetlands.
“Examples of biodiversity protection projects could include; wetland fencing and weed control, fencing riparian vegetation and waterways (especially spring-fed) to protect it from stock, and fencing streams important to native fish,” she said.
If you or your group has a biodiversity enhancement project that could benefit from some financial support, please contact Environment Canterbury Biodiversity Officer Frances Schmechel by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 0800 324 636.
The upper Rakaia and Rangitata catchments
The Canterbury Water Regional Committee is responsible for allocating Immediate Steps funding to support regionally significant biodiversity projects, which deliver on the goals and targets as set out in the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS).
The funding for the upper Rakaia and Rangitata catchments will help contribute to the Regional Committee’s flagship braided river programme.
Braided river habitats are becoming increasingly vulnerable as we place pressures on them for water use, and from pests, weeds and pollution.
The CWMS, and its Immediate Steps programme, aims to halt the decline by supporting initiatives which protect of indigenous biodiversity and water quality. The fund contributes up to two-thirds of the project, with one third required from applicants in cash or in-kind.
Projects can be received anytime; however for the current fiscal year funds enquiries need to be received by 30 April.
Application forms are available at: http://ecan.govt.nz/advice/biodiversity/funding/Pages/eef.aspx) or search ‘biodiversity funding’ at www.ecan.govt.nz.
The Immediate Steps programme is a key component of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy. Through this fund, $ 1.24 million is allocated annually to projects and there is a further contribution required from third parties.
The programme aims for the protection of ecosystems and habitats to conserve indigenous freshwater diversity. Projects allocated funding will reflect the principles of the Canterbury Biodiversity Strategy and ki uta ki tai – from the mountains to the sea.
CWMS Zone Committees are charged with deciding the priorities for each zone and there is also Regional Committee funding to support regionally significant biodiversity ‘flagship’ projects.
Environment Canterbury also allocates $400,000 per year to a range of important biodiversity projects across the Canterbury region. This money is in addition to Immediate Steps biodiversity funding and is targeted towards the highest priority actions aimed at protecting and restoring the regions’ biodiversity.
These projects will protect and enhance a variety of ecosystem types, including wetlands, lowland streams and native vegetation remnants. Projects include native plantings, weed control, pest and stock proof fencing.
Environment Canterbury also allocates grants on behalf of the Honda TreeFund, including to school projects. Honda sponsors 10 native trees to be planted for every new car sold, with another three funded by local Honda dealers.