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Project Moves Biodiversity Another Step Forward

22 November 2001

Local Government New Zealand will launch today a project that aims to help councils work with their communities and other agencies to address biodiversity issues on land outside the conservation estate.

President Basil Morrison says the new project called Action Bio-Community aims to help local government and communities to build the motivation, skills, knowledge and contacts to enable their biodiversity projects to be really successful.

The project is a partnership between local and central government that will mean more information sharing and less project duplication. The project will fund and support “pilot” projects with councils and communities to test approaches to biodiversity management on private land.

“The collaborative approach of Action Bio-Community will help councils share experiences with each other, test new ideas and techniques and build on lessons learned from the past.”

For the project to work well it is important that councils build wider partnerships with land owners/managers, other local authorities, environmental/community groups and other key agencies like the Department of Conservation, says Mr Morrison.

The Government has allocated $1.1 million for a three-year period, from the Ministry for the Environment’s Sustainable Management Fund. The money will be used to target what will make a difference to the whole, not just individual projects and agencies.

Mr Morrison says pilot projects that will be considered for funding need to be a council initiative or be supported by a council.

At the launch children from Paremata School will build an environmental sculpture of the project logo. The Minister for the Environment Hon Marian Hobbs and Mr Morrison will place the final pieces of the sculpture to mark the official launch of the project.

The Action Bio-Community launch will be at the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary in Wellington today from 6pm to 7.30pm.

END

For more information contact: Elizabeth Hughes, Communications Manager, Local Government New Zealand, Phone: 04 470 0008

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