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Partnership on new climate change research

Joint media release

5 September 2008

Partnership on new climate change research announced

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology are teaming up on new research into climate change for the land based sectors.

The partnership will provide $4.6 million funding this financial year for research in the agricultural and forestry sectors, including adaptation to climate change, reducing agricultural emissions, enhancing forest sinks, and cross-sectoral issues such as the economics and social sciences related to climate change. The partnership represents the second phase of research under the Sustainable Land Management and Climate Change Plan of Action.

Director General for the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), Murray Sherwin, said the partnership would help benefit the agriculture and forestry sectors by drawing on the skills and experience of both agencies.

``Climate change is an issue that goes to the heart of the agricultural and forestry sectors, and there isn’t a silver bullet for cutting emissions. By working together, we hope to draw together the collective skills and networks of both agencies to attract the strongest and most valuable proposals for research into tackling climate change in New Zealand,’’ Mr Sherwin said.

The heads of both agencies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) this week to seal the deal. Under the MOU, the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (FRST) will administer the funding of eligible projects on MAF’s behalf.

FRST Chief Executive Murray Bain said this relationship will ensure greater integration and effective utilisation of New Zealand’s research capability in these key sectors at a time of global change.

``This strategic investment relationship with MAF is the first step in the development of our long term objective to develop ‘premium’ partnerships with Government Ministries, local government and sectors for the benefit of New Zealand’s environment and economy,’’ Mr Bain said.

Applications for funding are now available to be downloaded from FRST’s website: www.frst.govt.nz.

ENDS

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