Tuesday, July 16, 2024

DOC Community Fund a win for biodiversity and heritage

$9.2 million from the DOC Community Fund has been awarded to 38 groups protecting threatened species and cultural heritage across New Zealand.

The DOC Community Fund is an annual contestable fund open to community groups and private landowners to contribute to conservation projects.

This year, $7.2 million has been awarded to biodiversity projects that will protect Aotearoa’s rarest species from extinction, and safeguard critically endangered rare ecosystems. A further $2 million will protect significant cultural heritage sites and maintain visitor infrastructure in the backcountry.

Deputy Director-General National Operations and Regulatory Services, Marie Long says the alignment of the DOC Community Fund with both the Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy/Te Mana o Te Taiao and DOC’s Heritage and Visitor Strategy will maximise the impact of the fund.

“Priority was given to our most critically endangered species and sites, ensuring the greatest possible impact from the funding available,” says Ms Long.

“Nationally critical species on the brink of extinction such as kakabeak, swamp maire, tūtūruatu/shore plover, kupe skink, and pekapeka tou roa/long-tailed bat will benefit from these grants, alongside critically endangered ecosystems and habitats such as chenier plains and ephemeral wetlands.

“With a focus on important sites for threatened species and ecosystems, collective community efforts will assist in meeting these challenges. Unique species and habitats, historical places, and backcountry huts will have a better chance of being enjoyed by future generations thanks to this funding.”

Projects are funded for up to three years and cover the length and breadth of the country. DOC received over $77 million in requests for the $9.2 million fund, showing a high demand for funds to support conservation projects.

The successful recipients and their related projects are available on the Department’s website.

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