More than $8.5 million has been granted to support more than 100 community-based conservation groups to work on conservation projects alongside the Department of Conservation.
The funding is the first allocation from the new Community Conservation Partnerships Fund (CCPF) which has $26 million available over four years to support community organisations involved in natural heritage and recreation projects.
“Directly supporting these community organisations means we will see more conservation work, more New Zealanders active in the outdoors and more people aware of our country’s unique conservation challenges,” says Kay Booth, Deputy Director-General, Partnerships.
Practical, on-the-ground conservation projects across the country have been funded, ranging from groups looking after rare birds such as kiwi and kea, to clubs helping to renovate and maintain backcountry huts and community initiatives to restore local wetlands and wildlife.
It is the largest funding round that the Department has experienced, receiving more than 280 applications for projects collectively seeking more than $50 million.
“I’m delighted at the explosion of interest from communities across New Zealand in getting involved in local conservation projects and warmly congratulate those that have successfully secured funding for their projects,” Dr Booth says.
“I look forward to the conservation gains that will stem from the opportunities that the fund has created.”
DOC will also be working with the unsuccessful applicants to support them to achieve their conservation goals.