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Researchers celebrate additional funding


Researchers celebrate additional funding

Landcare Research has been awarded a 50% increase in Government funding to continue its Integrated Catchment Management programme for a further six years.

The ICM programme is a case study with national significance, but is based mainly in the Motueka catchment, an area with strong population growth and conflicting land use pressures. The programme is a partnership with the Cawthron Institute, the Tasman District Council and other research agencies, and has strong community involvement.

The government's science funding agency, the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (FRST), has ensured the continuation of the three-year old project. Landcare Research programme leader Andrew Fenemor is delighted with the news.

"We look forward to building on the many notable successes of the programme so far," Mr Fenemor says.

"One important achievement was making a huge volume of information accessible through a technical report on the Motueka catchment. It is available from Landcare Research and TDC, and through the programme website.

"Other successes include new findings on water quality impacts of cattle crossing streams, effects on marine farms of sediment in river water entering Tasman Bay, and community perceptions of the factors affecting the future sustainability of the catchment."

Mr Fenemor says over the next six years, researchers will work with regional councils and sector groups to develop new tools for managing catchments. These will include computer models to help to predict the impacts of continuing growth and changing land use. Mr Fenemor comments that computer models need adequate basic information such as soils data, which may be drawn from other research programmes. Landcare Research is looking at its options for maintaining that input, given a recent decline in Government funding for soil science.

"These computer models will be used for resource management planning, and for measuring progress towards sustainable management of catchments," Mr Fenemor says.

To mark the continuing success of the ICM programme, a free public field day will be held on Wednesday, October 22.

"We look forward to discussing our research results, and talking with people about environmental issues in the Motueka catchment," Mr Fenemor says. "It is one way of encouraging further community input."

Details of the field day will be publicised through the Tasman District Council, local newspapers and the ICM website.

For more information on the ICM project, check our website: The Integrated Catchment Management Programme: http://icm.landcareresearch.co.nz

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