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Government Launches 'Eco 2001' Package

The Government today released its 'Eco 2001' package, announcing new funding to enhance the protection and conservation of our unique animal and plant species under the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy.

"Overall, the Conservation budget vote increases by $8.27m in the 2001/02 year, to a total of $226.35m1," said Minister of Conservation Hon Sandra Lee. "This is a new high for Conservation Department funding."

Ms Lee said new funding initiatives for DOC include additional money to upgrade visitor facilities on public conservation land, such as huts, shelters and public toilets, as well as converting a one-off public awareness initiative into a permanent feature of the Department's work programme. She said the $187m five year package announced in the last Budget ramps up by $10m in year one (last year) to an extra $28m in year two. Ms Lee confirmed that:

- marine funding increases by $3m to $8m extra;

- biodiversity assessment and support increases by $2m to $6m extra;

- protection of threatened species through pest and weed control, and through measures such as kiwi sanctuaries, increases by $5m to $13.5m extra; and

- there is increased additional funding for biosecurity measures.

The additional funding is focussed on achieving the goals of the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy and is spread amongst the Department of the Conservation, Ministry for the Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (Biosecurity) and Ministry of Fisheries. The Strategy's main goals are to restore and sustain a full range of our dwindling species and their habitats, safeguard our most important introduced species, and also safeguard tangata whenua interests in the protection of indigenous plants and animals. Funding will assist communities by improving information, and help landowners and others to improve the condition of biodiversity on private land.


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