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Biodiversity funding applications invited

Published: 29/08/2012 10:46 a.m. 

Environment Canterbury is inviting landowners and community groups to apply for a share of $3 million in annual funding to help protect and restore Canterbury’s unique native biodiversity.

Environment Canterbury Biodiversity Team Leader Jo Abbott says the biodiversity funds, which include the Canterbury Water Management Strategy Immediate Steps fund, provide financial support to communities and individuals where it can make a real difference. “We want to make sure most funding goes to on-the-ground biodiversity projects that people can see and take part in,” Jo said.

Projects that will deliver the greatest biodiversity benefits are most likely to be supported. The top priority is for projects to protect areas that already have high biodiversity value, such as fencing an area of native bush or wetland.

Projects that restore areas with some existing biodiversity value, such as infill planting in a native vegetation area, are a secondary priority. Some funding is also available for projects such as entirely new plantings aimed at creating biodiversity hotspots.

A contribution from the applicant or other party is usually required, and in kind contributions such as labour costs can be considered as part of the applicants’ contribution.

The $3 million of biodiversity funding is split over three funds. The Canterbury Water Management Strategy Immediate Steps fund is $2 million per year (including third-party contributions) and is allocated through zone and regional committees.

In the 2012/13 financial year $400,000 will be allocated through Environment Canterbury’s Biodiversity Fund for which projects must meet criteria in line with the Canterbury Biodiversity Strategy. For more information

Environment Canterbury also allocates grants on behalf of the Honda TreeFund, including to school projects. Honda sponsors 10 native trees to be planted for every new car sold, with another three funded by local Honda dealers. Applications for biodiversity funding are accepted all year round. Projects with the highest biodiversity value will be funded immediately if they met the relevant criteria.

Landowners who believe they have a good idea for a biodiversity project deserving support should contact their local Environment Canterbury Biodiversity Officer via 0800 324 636 or biodiversity@ecan.govt.nz

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