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MAF Grants $1.4m For Erosion Protection And Research

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
MAF Grants $1.4m For Erosion Protection And Research

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) has allocated two more erosion treatment projects a total of $1.4 million under its Sustainable Land Management (SLM) Hill Country Erosion Fund.

The two successful recipients of the 2007/2008 funding round are the Greater Wellington Regional Council and the Regional Councils' Willow and Poplar Research Collective.

"We are very pleased to fund these two projects that align with MAF's objectives of providing targeted support to communities that need to protect erosion prone hill country by working with farmers" says MAF's Natural Resources Policy Director, Mike Jebson.

Greater Wellington Regional Council has been allocated $675,000 (incl. GST) of funding from 2009/10 to 2012/13. This funding is reliant on the Council allocating a similar amount of funding through its Long Term Council Community Plan process. It will be used to target erosion in five high priority catchments and some isolated hot spots in the Wairarapa hill country.

The Regional Councils' Willow and Poplar Research Collective will receive $735,000 (incl. GST) for funding from 2008/09 to 2011/12. It will be used to increase adoption of new varieties that have not yet been used commercially and to research enhancing poplar and willow genetic stock to develop varieties that have improved soil stabilisation qualities.

Through the Fund, $2 million per year is available for regional initiatives that assist hill country farmers to treat erosion-prone land and implement sustainable management practices. The projects may be funded for up to four years. Last year Horizons Regional Council was granted $5.9 million over four years for their Sustainable Land Use Initiative.

"The Hill Country Erosion Fund provides a great opportunity to support regional initiatives involving community groups and landowners," Mr Jebson said.

The SLM Hill Country Erosion Fund is a key part of MAF's Sustainable Land Management (Hill Country Erosion) Programme. The Programme focuses on building the technical capacity of regional councils and providing targeted funding for catchment initiatives to produce a long-term shift in management practices on erosion prone hill country.

MAF earlier this week also announced the East Coast Forestry Project's (ECFP) 2008 funding round approvals. Under the Project, a total of $3.5 million has been approved in principle to cover a further 2238 hectares of new erosion control projects in Gisborne.

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