New fund means new opportunities

Wednesday 5 Dec 2018

 
Achieving the goal of planting one billion trees by 2028 – Late last week Forestry Minister Shane Jones and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor launched the One Billion Trees Fund – a crucial step toward that goal.

Led by Te Uru Rakau/Forestry New Zealand, the Fund provides $118 million for simple and accessible grants to landowners and organisations looking to plant trees. Another $120m is being committed to research initiatives that help reduce the barriers to tree planting through innovation, research and sector development initiatives.

“The One Billion Trees Programme sets an ambitious target, but brings with it the huge opportunity to revitalise our regions and create real economic, social and environmental benefits across the country. It will also support Maori to realise the potential of their land,” Shane Jones said.

“The Government is committed to achieving these benefits for New Zealanders who have already shown an impressive amount of interest and goodwill in the programme. This year we exceeded the planting goal, with over 60 million trees planted.

“The new Fund will build on this early momentum by supporting planting to reduce erosion, improve water quality, achieve regional development goals, enhance biodiversity, develop Maori-owned land and diversify productive land use.

“Officials will monitor the rollout of the new grant scheme to ensure our focus remains on putting the right tree in the right place for the right purpose,” Shane Jones said.

“This is another example of the Coalition Government’s partnership with farmers to help them extract more value from their businesses because we recognise the significant contribution they make to the wellbeing of New Zealand and our economy,” Damien O’Connor said.

“The key to any sustainable business is diversification and I encourage those interested to take up these grants that reflect our ambition to work in partnership with farmers to get more from what they do,” Damien O’Connor said.

It brings the total for the One Billion Trees Programme, funded from the Provincial Growth Fund, to $480 million, with other initiatives including joint ventures between landowners and Crown Forestry to plant commercial forestry, and the community planting programme Matariki Tu Rakau.

Applications to the new Fund are now open through Te Uru Rakau and can be submitted all year round.



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Source: Radio NZ & Scoop




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