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Conservation grant applications invited

7 March 2005

Conservation grant applications invited

More than $1.5 million worth of funding will be made available to private landowners and community groups for nature protection on private land.

Environment Minister Marian Hobbs and Conservation Minister Chris Carter today announced the second funding round for 2004-2005 for the Biodiversity Condition and Advice Funds.

"This is an ideal opportunity for people around the country with a keen interest in conservation to get support for protecting and restoring native flora and fauna on private land," Chris Carter said.

"We are looking forward to receiving applications now from people all over New Zealand. The funds are building momentum, with more people applying each year and higher quality applications being received," Marian Hobbs said.

A recent survey conducted by the Ministry for the Environment and the Department of Conservation of past applicants, and of agencies such as New Zealand Landcare Trust and the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust, shows there is a large degree of support for the funds.

"Most respondents said that the most beneficial aspect of the funds was that the government is demonstrating a commitment to assisting landowners. Many said that their projects would not have been possible, without the financial assistance," Marian Hobbs said.

In this round, $1,012,000 is available for projects from the Biodiversity Condition Fund, and $515,000, from the Biodiversity Advice Fund.

Applications close on 20 April 2005 at 5pm. Since the last round, a toll free number – 0800 86 2020 – has been established, to make it easier for land owners and rural communities to communicate with the fund management staff in Wellington.

Background information Biodiversity Condition and Advice Funds

The Biodiversity Condition and Advice Funds were established under the Government's Biodiversity Strategy in the year 2000. A total of $3.1 million is available annually to private landowners and community groups for protection of New Zealand's indigenous biodiversity. The Biodiversity Condition Fund aims to improve and maintain the condition of areas of native vegetation, species and habitats, including wetlands and water bodies. The fund seeks to broaden community effort in managing native species biodiversity, outside public conservation lands.

The Biodiversity Advice Fund supports the provision of information and advice to land owners to assist them in managing indigenous biodiversity, including projects such as field days, publications and training. The last funding round – announced in January this year – resulted in approvals for 117 Biodiversity Condition Fund projects ($1,661,099) and 31 Biodiversity Advice Fund projects ($1,015,840).

A number of projects were funded for two years. Examples of projects approved in the last funding round: landowner and community species protection projects involving blue duck (whio), brown teal (pateke), kiwi, penguin and kokako. significant fencing projects in Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Wellington, Marlborough, Canterbury and Southland to help landowners in their efforts to protect stands of representative vegetation on their land from stock.

ENDS


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