A recent review of Environment Canterbury’s Environment Enhancement Fund will make it easier for people to apply for funding. Changes to the qualifying criteria will enable a wider range of applications to be considered.
Environment Canterbury’s pests & biodiversity programme manager Stephen Hall says that the changes are positive and have been made so that the fund can be more flexible and integrate better with other biodiversity priorities and sources of funding.
“If you have considered applying before but didn’t because your project was too big, or the timing of the Environment Enhancement Funding didn’t suit you, then you are now able to apply all year round.”
Some of the changes to Environment Canterbury’s Environment Enhancement Fund:
· The maximum for a single project has been substantially increased to $20,000 (up from $5,000).
· The proportion of project costs funded can be up to 50% for restoration projects and could be higher for projects that protect high priority biodiversity areas.
· Labour costs can now be considered as part of the funding.
· Applications will be accepted all year round. The highest value projects will be funded immediately and all other projects will be considered twice a year in late August and February.
“We know through our community consultation that indigenous biodiversity is a top priority for the community.”
Altogether, Environment Canterbury has close to $2 million available annually to promote, facilitate and carry out activities that protect and restore Canterbury’s unique and varied indigenous biodiversity into the future.
Most is allocated by the Canterbury Water Management Strategy zone committees. There are also targeted funds through the Biodiversity Strategy.
“We want to ensure that the majority of that funding is allocated to on-the-ground biodiversity projects that people can see and be part of,” said Stephen Hall.
“The fund is one way of making financial support accessible to communities where it can make a difference. We are looking to allocate it to projects that deliver the greatest biodiversity benefits.
“Projects to protect areas that already have high biodiversity value, such as fencing an area of native bush, will have the highest priority. A second area of priority will be projects that enhance or restore areas with some existing value. This could be an area of native vegetation that requires some weed or pest control work. A third level priority will be projects that require entirely new plantings aimed at creating biodiversity hotspots.”
To download an application form and apply for the Environment Enhancement Fund visit www.ecan.govt.nz/eef.
For more information on the Environment Enhancement Fund contact Customer Services on 0800 324 636, who can put you in touch with your local biodiversity officer.