30 January 2014
QEII National Trust covenantors will be able to do more for New Zealand’s biodiversity with $313,000 worth of grants received from DOC’s latest Biofund round.
Trust funding co-ordinator, Genevieve Bannister, said 12 projects on Trust covenanted land have been given the go ahead for a range of conservation initiatives now that funding support has been secured.
Funding was prioritised to support projects which specifically covered national priorities for protecting rare and threatened native biodiversity on private land. The grants will support a range of projects including weed and pest control and threatened plant monitoring and propagation in a number of sites around New Zealand, and restoration programmes in wetlands located in Southland and Hawke’s Bay.
“Our covenantors do amazing work voluntarily protecting New Zealand’s native biodiversity on their land, but sometimes the scale of the task or the nature of the work is just too expensive, too urgent or too problematic for them to manage on their own.
“It is such a thrill when a grant application is accepted and we get the funding support needed to help them get on with the job,” she said.
Ms Bannister said many of New Zealand’s threatened plants and animals are found on private land, so protecting them there is as vital as it is on public conservation land. Since 2002 over 360 projects in covenants have been assisted with Biofunds grants.
“We have managed to secure on average $8,000 per project which makes a huge difference to what can be achieved.
“Biofunds recognises the importance of conservation efforts on private land and we are thankful for the support the fund gives to covenantors who are protecting biodiversity for the benefit of all New Zealand,” Ms Bannister said.
The QEII National Trust works in partnership with landowners to help them protect special natural and cultural sites on their land in perpetuity with open space covenants.
Since its inception in 1977, National Trust covenantors have established some 4,000 covenants which collectively protect around 125,000 ha of New Zealand’s natural and cultural heritage, an area equivalent in size to the combined areas of the Abel Tasman, Aoraki/Mt Cook and Taranaki/Egmont national parks.
Covenantors are encouraged to contact their local QEII representative to discuss external funding options for conservation projects in their covenants. ENDS
Media contact: Anne McLean, QEII National Trust, 04 472 6626.