Te Uru Rakau (Forestry New Zealand) has announced funding of almost $36 million through the Hill Country Erosion Fund (HCEF) to enable much-needed erosion control in the regions.
The HCEF supports proposals to protect our most vulnerable hill country landscapes, where the main treatment is tree planting.
“We’re pleased by the level of interest from councils, with 12 applications received in this latest round – four of which were from regions that had not previously applied,” says Julie Collins, Deputy Director-General Forestry and Head of Te Uru Rakau.
“It shows the importance they are placing on sustainable land management and treating erosion in their regions.”
Ms Collins says the loss of productive land through erosion has a significant impact on the environment and the sustainability of New Zealand land.
“The annual cost associated with hill country erosion is estimated to be between $100 million and $150 million through lost soil, nutrients and production, and damaged infrastructure and waterways,” says Ms Collins.
“The 12 new HCEF programmes will take place between July 2019 and June 2023 and will deliver significant improvements in erosion control. For example, these range from building regional capacity and capability to plant trees, to farm planning and land treatments including planting poplars, willows and other indigenous and exotic species.
“We estimate that over four years, these programmes will result in more than 13 million trees being planted and treatment of more than 21,000 hectares of land,” says Ms Collins.
“These will contribute to the Government’s One Billion Trees Programme, and deliver environmental and a range of other benefits across the country.”
Photo: Julie Collins, Deputy Director-General Forestry and Head of Te Uru Rakau.