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Funding Opportunity To Protect Precious Biodiversity Opens Today

A fund to permanently protect areas containing some of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most threatened ecosystems opened for applications today.

The Nature Heritage Fund (NHF) is open until 28 February for applications to protect indigenous ecosystems permanently, particularly those nationally uncommon ecosystems that are most at risk of extinction. The NHF is a contestable Ministerial fund that helps private landowners, local government, community groups, and others permanently protect high-value indigenous ecosystems.

Since 1990, the NHF has legally protected over 349,000 hectares of indigenous ecosystem which could otherwise have been cleared or damaged.

Nature Heritage Fund Committee chair Sue Rickman says it is important to invest funding into protecting ecosystems.

“This funding round is aligned with achieving the outcomes of the Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy/Te Mana o Te Taiao,” says Sue.

“It is important that a full range of indigenous ecosystems are protected and secured for future generations. That’s why $6.9 million is available for this round and I encourage applications targeting ecosystems that are most at risk of extinction.”

The fund’s scope includes all indigenous terrestrial ecosystems considered important ecologically at a local or national level. There are 17 naturally uncommon ecosystems which are most in danger, including coastal turfs, inland saline areas, ephemeral wetlands, and a range of other ecosystems. Naturally uncommon ecosystems contribute disproportionately to national biodiversity, and we are developing our understanding of these ecosystems.

The Nature Heritage Fund is open for applications now and closes on 28 February 2023.

More information is available on the Department’s website.

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