Environment Southland is setting its sights on enhancing biodiversity in Southland and contributing to the region’s post COVID-19 economic recovery, thanks to $4.5million of Government funding that was announced on Sunday (5/7/2020).
The funding, part of the Government’s $1.3 billion Jobs for Nature programme, will go towards two projects that expand the work Environment Southland is already doing to enhance its unique ecosystems. More than 70 jobs will be created across five years, contributing to the region’s economy and supporting the post COVID-19 recovery.
Chief executive Rob Phillips said Environment Southland’s ‘Biodiversity Action on the Ground’ project will focus on actively managing pockets of native ecosystems covering approximately 300,000ha.
This will include supporting local partners and landowners to undertake extensive pest and weed control, wetland creation, and revegetation; develop site specific management programmes; and assess and monitor current management programmes. The Government is providing $4.25 million towards this, with the remaining $2 million being provided by Environment Southland over five years.
“We’ve always said that it is the work people do on the ground in communities that makes the real difference and the Government has recognised this by supporting our biodiversity project,” said Rob Phillips
The second project, worth $500,000, allows Environment Southland to restore fish passages and remove barriers in Southland’s streams so fish are able to move easily within rivers and streams. Approximately 250 fish passages will be fitted over five years. The Government will contribute $385,000, with the remaining $115,000 to come from existing biodiversity budgets over five years.
“These projects amount to a considerable investment that would take us much longer to progress without this opportunity for Government funding.”
“We’re committed to working with our iwi partners, farmers, community groups and other organisations to strengthen Southland’s environment, as well as our economy. One does not thrive without the other, so this investment is critically important to helping our region recover from the impacts of COVID-19.”