Saturday, April 13, 2024

Record year for Northland climate fund applications

Northland Regional Council says climate resilience and adaptation was a strong focus for its 2023 Environmental Leaders Fund (ELF), which a record 40 applications from across Te Taitokerau.

A total of $35,000 was awarded with the aim to support schools and early childhood centres with projects that increase their students’ knowledge and passion for the environment.

Twenty successful applicants were given up to $3,000 each to turn climate positive projects into reality. These forward-thinking projects were aimed at enhancing biodiversity, nurturing te taiao (the environment) and caring for the earth’s resources, the Council said in a statement.

Project examples included establishing on site compost stations, growing flourishing food forests, exploring the use of wool mats for biodegradable weed prevention and seed propagation.

2022 Environmental Leadership Fund recipients Portland School show off their composting station. 

Northland Regional Council Chair, Geoff Crawford says the record number of applications reflects that as the climate changes, so must we.

“As the climate changes we must evolve our practices and continually adjust our actions to reduce risk.”

“The projects being undertaken by each of these schools and centres shows that the younger generation is committed to exploring new opportunities to adapt to our changing climate and are forging a sustainable path forward.

“We want to continue supporting our communities to make these changes and ELF is a great way for the younger generation to learn and expand their knowledge and skills in the climate resilience space,” said Chair Crawford.

Surplus to the fund, the Toimata Foundation gifted numerous gardening tools – which some of the schools and centres were also awarded. The schools that received Toimata tools were Bay of Islands College, Kaihu School, Kawakawa Primary, Kerikeri Primary, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Rāwhitiroa, and Te Kura o Hato Hohepa Te Kamura.

Successful applicants are given one year to submit a project completion report including photos of the completed project.

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