Mike Jebson gives an update on today’s budget announcement and what it means for QEII and our work in private land conservation.

We are encouraged to see the over $180 million of new money being invested in the important work the Department of Conservation does to protect and preserve nature on public conservation land. Here are the highlights in terms of increases in conservation funding over the next four years:

  • $81.3 million to boost landscape-scale predator control, which is vital for protecting threatened species and habitats
  • $76.0 million set aside for biodiversity initiatives across land, freshwater and marine ecosystems
  • $5.5 million to enable better visitor management, by looking at new strategies in areas like transport and waste management
  • $2.6 million to fund better protection of the unique landscapes and biodiversity of the Mackenzie Basin..

In terms of QEII funding, we were disappointed not to have maintained our funding for the Queens Canopy Covenants that we had received over the previous 3 years.  We will be looking to see how we can maintain momentum in private land conservation despite this setback.

We note that there has been a contingency set aside of $76 million dollars in vote conservation spread over four years for terrestrial, marine and freshwater initiatives.  We believe that a significant part of this needs to be invested to support private land conservation to help maintain and enhancement biodiversity in protected private land.  We will be working closely with DOC to invest a significant part of this contingency here.

The governments big goals in biodiversity protection and conservation require significant investment in private land protection as well as in public land and we look forward to continuing our work with the Department of Conservation and the government to secure our place in this important work.