The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry’s (MAF) Hill Country Erosion (HCE) Fund has granted $1.1 million to Taranaki Regional Council for its South Taranaki and Regional Erosion Support Scheme (STRESS).
The HCE Fund contribution will be used for the on-ground treatment of erosion-prone land, mainly in the Waitotara catchment and isolated hot spots in the region.
The HCE Fund, Taranaki Regional Council and participating landowners will all contribute to the STRESS project, with MAF and the council contributing 34 percent each, and landowners 32 percent.
“The HCE Fund Panel felt the STRESS proposal had a lot of merit and the Council should be congratulated for the work carried out so far on treating erosion and educating landowners,” says MAF Director Natural Resources Policy Mike Jebson.
HCE Fund proposals are rated against evaluation criteria during a two phase process by an external reviewer, peer reviewers and an Interdepartmental Panel, before being approved by the Deputy-Director General of MAF Policy. STRESS was the only second phase application considered in the 2009 funding round.
The HCE Fund is the principal component of MAF’s Sustainable Land Management Programme, with available funding of $2 million per annum. It is a contestable fund open to regional councils and unitary authorities for initiatives that assist hill country farmers in treating erosion-prone land and implementing sustainable management practices. Projects may be funded for up to four years.
Applications for the next funding round are now open and close on 19 February 2010.
More information on the HCE Fund, assessment criteria and the application process is available on the MAF website: http://www.maf.govt.nz/mafnet/rural-nz/slm-hill-country-erosion-programme/