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Indigenous biodiversity projects funded

Indigenous biodiversity projects funded

The first distribution of funding to improve indigenous biodiversity on private land was announced today by the Ministers for the Environment and Conservation, Marian Hobbs and Chris Carter, as part of the continuing implementation of the NZ Biodiversity Strategy.

A total of $625,000 would be spent on a range of projects approved by the Chief Executives of the Environment Ministry and Conservation Department.

The next funding round will have almost four times as much -- $2.3m. Applications will open shortly. There are two funds - one for condition improvement and the other for advisory services.

"The government is very keen to support private landowners to protect the native plants and animals on their land," the ministers said.

"The allocation of this money is a first step in increasing that support.

"We were keen to distribute the money as soon as possible. Biodiversity agencies with the experience and capability to proceed with funding bids were asked for proposals at very short notice.

"They responded admirably and we are very pleased that finally the money is going to the people who can arrest the decline in New Zealand's natural environment."

The projects funded include: Pest and weed control on a range of high priority QEII covenants (QEII National Trust) Expansion of a nationwide web-based information/ advisory service (NZERN) Support for regional biodiversity fora in Northland, Auckland, Gisborne, Wanganui/Manawatu, Nelson, Marlborough, Canterbury, Bay of Plenty, West Coast, Tasman (NZ Landcare Trust) Looking after kiwi in Northland and information for private landholders in Northland (NZ Landcare Trust) Assistance to the Moehau Environment group in the Coromandel. (NZ Landcare Trust) Setting up a freephone service for landholders in the Waikato who have questions about looking after the native plants and animals on their land (Waikato Biodiversity Forum) Field days for people controlling pests in Bay of Plenty and Northland (NZ Landcare Trust) Targetted assistance for a newly protected geothermal wetland in Rotorua (Nga Whenua Rahui) Pest control on a protected area of Maori land on the East Coast (Nga Whenua Rahui) Establishment of an advisory service to farmers in Tasman District. (Tasman Natural Areas Enhancement Group) Support for the newly created Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust. (NZ Landcare Trust and Banks Peninsula conservation trust) Funding pest and weed control at Sherwood Forest in Southland.

(Southland Biodiversity Group) More information on applying to the funds and the timetable for applications is available on http://www.biodiversity.govt.nz or from mailto:djohnston@doc.govt.nz, Department of Conservation, Box 10-420, Wellington or Ministry for the Environment, Box 10362, Wellington.

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