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Support for vital conservation work

Hon Chris Carter
Minister of Conservation


Support for vital conservation work

The Department of Conservation is to receive an extra $13.3 million to boost its core capability, and fund the development of a national inventory of New Zealand's species.

"Spread over four years, this funding will bolster the DOC's core capability, at a time when real strides are starting to be made protecting New Zealand's native species," Conservation Minister Chris Carter said.

"Since 1999, funding for Vote Conservation has risen by over 80 per cent, but much of this money has gone in to expanding the scope of DOC's work, and the work of others in the conservation sector. Budget 2007 seeks to strengthen DOC's core functions, and assist it to retain staff.

In addition, a total of $4 million of new funding will go towards enhancing DOC's ability to participate in the Treaty Settlement process. New funding will also allow DOC to develop a Natural Heritage Management System, which will provide tools to monitor and evaluate the current state and trends in key natural areas, and species.

"One of the complexities of monitoring the impact of conservation work is how to do so without counting every bird in every forest in every corner of the country," Mr Carter said.

"The Natural Heritage Management system will allow staff to use field computers to add biodiversity information they observe on location to standardised national databases. From these databases we will be able to build a much more detailed picture of what is going on with our species, what is working, what isn’t and which species and places deserve the highest priority.

"These initiatives are further evidence of the Labour-led government's ongoing commitment to preserving New Zealand's spectacular natural environment," Mr Carter said.

ENDS

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