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Canterbury Region Wins

Hon Steve Chadwick
Minister of Conservation

27 March 2008 Media Release
Canterbury Region Wins

“The Canterbury region is a winner”, said Conservation Minister Steve Chadwick today as she announced funding for a Regional Biodiversity Coordinator for Environment Canterbury (ECAN) at the launch of the Biodiversity Strategy for the Canterbury Region.

The coordinator will work with the organisations represented on the Strategy Advisory Group which developed the strategy.

The Minister congratulated the Canterbury Regional Council and all the District Councils in the region for working together to produce the document. Representation on the Strategy Advisory Group included all of the region’s District Councils, Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, Federated Farmers, Government departments, Fonterra , University of Canterbury, The Queen Elizabeth National Trust and Landcare Research.

“The strategy identifies impacts on the environment and provides guidance on where urgent action is required. I am pleased to see that collaboration between the region’s Territorial Councils and the Regional Council is to continue. With these groups working together the strategy is sure to succeed”.

“With the current pressures on the environment a coordinated approach is essential if the region is to avoid the loss of at-risk environments”.

The Government’s National Priorities for Protecting Rare and Threatened Biodiversity on Private Land which were released in April 2006 are reflected in the strategy.

The Minister also took the opportunity to announce the latest national Biodiversity Fund allocations. These were released jointly with the Minister for the Environment the Hon Trevor Mallard.

A total of $1,996,755 was allocated to biodiversity projects throughout the country to assist landowners, Community Groups and Councils to protect biodiversity values. Ten Canterbury projects were successful with a total $221,736 being allocated in the region with $53,000 being allocated for the coordinator position.

Projects focussed on penguins and coastal seabird habitat were a highlight of this funding round with coastal protection projects in Otago, the Chathams and the West Coast being amongst the 83 approved projects.

“All these projects involve significant landowner and community voluntary labour and services. Taking this into account a total of over $4million is to be spent on Biodiversity protection on private land”.

The grants are a way for the Government to acknowledge and assist Councils and landowners, recognising the important contribution they are making to protecting New Zealand’s biodiversity, the Ministers said. The Biodiversity Funds were established in 2001 to assist landowners in protecting indigenous biodiversity on private land. There will be a further funding round announced in May this year.


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