Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced.
It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, pest control, fencing and project management through a $34 million funding boost.
An $18 million dedicated Private Land Biodiversity Fund will be available to established organisations that support groups of private landowners to work together to protect and restore rare habitats that safeguard populations of native species on private land.
“We know many farmers value and are active in managing biodiversity on their farms, and this fund provides the opportunity to support groups of landowners to expand biodiversity projects while also providing jobs.
“It also supports the broader goals of the Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy and the proposed National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity,” says Allan.
“The $16 million Community Conservation fund is for community-led conservation projects on public and private land, and is available to community groups with a focus on practical projects aimed at conserving New Zealand’s indigenous biodiversity.
“This approach will help established community groups scale up their projects, take their conservation goals to the next level and provide great employment opportunities for locals.
“This is not only a big win for biodiversity on private and public land, it is also a big win for local communities and their post-COVID economic revival."
The investment is part of the $1.245 billion Jobs for Nature COVID-19 recovery package aimed at providing nature-based job opportunities for 11,000 people over the next four years.