Biodiversity Action on the Ground programme
The Biodiversity Action on the Ground project is part of the Government’s $1.3 billion Jobs for Nature - Mahi mō te Taiao programme. The Environment Southland-led Biodiversity Action on the Ground project includes the identification and prioritisation of regional biodiversity values and condition of up to 300,000ha of indigenous biodiversity and supporting landowners to improve and undertake extensive pest and weed control, wetland creation, and revegetation; develop site specific management programmes; and assess and monitor current management programmes.
The Government provided $4.25 million towards this, with the remaining $2 million being provided by Environment Southland over five years (2020-2025).
There are three stages to the Biodiversity Action on the Ground project for individuals and groups to get involved with; ecological surveys, management plans and the Environmental Enhancement Fund.
About the Murihiku Southland and Rakiura environment
Murihiku Southland has lots of special native species and ecosystems at risk from animal pests, weeds and land development.
Murihiku Southland has more than 60 different native ecosystems spread across 3.1 million hectares of land and 3,400km of coastline.
Like other parts of Aotearoa New Zealand, Southland has seen an ongoing decline in the numbers and quality of native ecosystems. Outside of the large areas of public conservation estate, only remnants of indigenous ecosystems and habitats remain on private land.
Environment Southland is committed to supporting landowners and communities who want to protect and enhance native environments.
Ecological surveys identify native biodiversity, ecosystems and their threats on properties.
The surveys will grow Environment Southland’s knowledge of the biodiversity and ecosystems in Murihiku Southland.
Wildlands Consultants has been contracted to undertake ecological surveys on public and private land.
The surveys are great for landowners who want to find out more about the special biodiversity values they have on their properties. By identifying species on a site, landowners will then be further equipped to minimise disturbances to their habitat.
Ecological surveys do not constitute a regulatory visit and are entirely voluntary.
Those who opt-in for ecological surveys are given options on how they wish their data to be used. However, the collected information remains subject to the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987. Under the Act, Environment Southland is required to release information to the person who made the request.
Report information could be provided to the Southland District Council, Gore District Council, and the Invercargill City Council to help them meet their requirements under the National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity. Under the proposed statement, territorial authorities are required to map all Significant Natural Areas. Providing the information to territorial authorities is optional.
The information gathered will be used by Environment Southland for regional scale planning, ecosystem mapping and monitoring. The information will improve our understanding of ecosystem types and distribution across Murihiku Southland.
A management plan involves a staff member from Environment Southland coming to your property to discuss biodiversity objectives for the site. These are a useful tool for landowners who want to protect the special values found on their property.
A management plan is developed for the site in close collaboration with the landowner or community group and possibly other agencies with an interest in the site. The landowner or community group can then decide whether or not to proceed with the actions proposed in the plan.
Environmental Enhancement Fund
The focus of the fund is on protecting and improving what we already have, rather than creating new areas like new wetlands or riparian buffers.
Examples of actions supported by the fund include:
- pest animal and weed control
- work to restore the natural flow of water
- native planting and plant maintenance.
Landowners, trusts, individuals and community groups working anywhere in Southland on either private land, conservation land or council reserves can apply. The online form can be found here.
If you’re not sure whether your project would qualify, we can provide advice and come out to do a visual assessment.
Environment Southland can help with project planning, and with putting together an application.
Environment Southland has allocated $300,000 to the fund for each financial year until June 2025.
A grant from the EEF will only cover the direct cost of materials and labour used in the project.
The EEF will contribute up to 50% of the project costs.
People can apply from the 1 March to the 30 April each year. Funded works must be completed and invoices received within the same financial year the grant is approved.
For more information fill in the form below or call us on 0800 76 88 45 and ask to speak to a member of the biodiversity team about the Environmental Enhancement Fund.
Note: We are no longer accepting Environmental Enhancement Fund applications for this financial year. People can still apply online to be considered in the next funding round which will open early next year.