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$1.55m for biodiversity work on private land

Hon Marian Hobbs
Minister for the Environment
Hon Chris Carter
Minister of Conservation

9 August 2005 Media Statement

Government grants $1.55m for biodiversity work on private land

Wetlands and forests being protected and restored on private land are among 106 projects receiving more than $1.55 million in Government grants.

Announced today by Environment Minister Marian Hobbs and Conservation Minister Chris Carter, the grants are divided among 83 projects under the Biodiversity Condition Fund, totalling $1,072,560, and 23 projects under the Biodiversity Advice Fund, totalling $515,140.

The projects involve 234 landowners and community groups nationwide.

"These announcements complete the funding programme (a total of $3.1 million) for the financial year to 30 June," the ministers said.

"The Government continues to make a significant contribution towards supporting nature protection on private land, as part of its commitment to the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy."

The funding will support 30 fencing projects involving more than 48km of fencing – the longest of which is more than 5km. The fencing projects will protect forests, wetlands and river margins.

Five projects focus on protecting kiwi habitat with Landcare groups in Northland, Coromandel and Taranaki, controlling possums and rats. Other projects focus on little blue penguins, protecting stream and river margins, restoring dunes, and removing weeds and pests from islands.

The Biodiversity Condition Fund aims to improve and maintain the condition of areas of native vegetation, species and habitats, and broaden community participation in nature protection in New Zealand.

The Biodiversity Advice Fund assists land managers and community groups in managing nature protection projects by supporting the provision of advice and information on native species protection.

With the condition fund projects the applicants themselves will be contributing a further $634,724. In addition to this, support from other agencies such as councils, the QE II National Trust and the NZ Landcare Trust will result in a further $491,569 for the projects.

"We are fortunate in New Zealand to be able to count on the enthusiasm of landowners committed to protecting the natural values on their properties," the ministers said.

"That commitment is shown in the voluntary labour, the cash and the in-kind contributions they are making. Total combined spending on condition fund projects is $2,182,409."

The contestable funds were established under the Government's $187 million Biodiversity Strategy Package in 2000.


For background on the Biodiversity Condition and Advice Funds and details of the August 2005 funding round approvals go to:
http://www.mfe.govt.nz/issues/biodiversity/initiatives/private-land/funds.html

ENDS

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