(Published on 7th April 2017)
NZ Landcare Trust has been given the green light to deliver a water quality improvement project in Southland. The Trust will receive $190,000 from MPI's Sustainable Farming Fund to work with farmers, agencies and rural communities to further develop catchment groups that focus on solving local water quality issues.
NZ Landcare Trust South Island Team Leader Janet Gregory was pleased with the announcement and said the funding reflects the ability of NZ Landcare Trust to work with rural communities and effect practical changes that have a positive impact on water quality.
"Many farmers in Southland have already responded well to the challenges of improving water quality by working together and setting up catchment groups to share information."
"Our role will be to build on our previously successful work with farmers, and DairyNZ, Beef+Lamb NZ, the deer industry and Environment Southland, and further increase awareness of water quality issues amongst farmers and to establish and support more catchment groups ," Janet added.
Sharing information and collaborating with stakeholders will be a key component of the project. Farmers have expressed a collective interest in managing the effects of land use on water quality, so this project will provide them with a leadership role and a platform to move forward. NZ Landcare Trust and other agencies will provide the support and advice that helps turn good intentions into practical change. NZ Landcare Trust will employ a part time Project Coordinator to help deliver the project, which will start in July.
This project is important because monitoring results from many waterways in the Southland region have identified deteriorating water quality. The proposed Water & Land Plan developed by Environment Southland as the first stage of implementing the National Policy Statement for Freshwater, seeks to maintain and improve water quality by actively managing key land use activities in Southland such as wintering, cultivation, stock access to water and management of tile drains. Environment Southland supports the development of catchment groups as a means of exchanging information with farmers.
Farmers are looking to respond positively to water quality challenges and with good advice and support from a project such as this, they will be able to make the best decisions both for the financial viability of their businesses and for longer term environmental benefits.
NZ Landcare Trust has been working with farmers, landowners and community groups on sustainable land and water management projects for twenty years, encouraging positive change where it matters most - on the ground.
For more information about this project contact Janet Gregory:
- 03 208 7883
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