Opinion; Committee protects environment

SUPPORT: Selwyn Waihora Zone Committee chairman Allen Lim writes about some of the projects which it has funded.

Selwyn Waihora Zone Committee chairman Allen Lim writes about its commitment to protecting and enhancing biodiversity

Did you know that biodiversity work in our zone is a significant part of the zone committee’s decision-making?

Since 2010, we have funded 52 ‘immediate steps’ projects from a fund of $100,000 per year.

The landowners contribute a similar amount in in-kind contributions, but that’s not counting the value of the land which is often effectively “locked away” to preserve the biodiversity values that we seek to protect.

The Selwyn Waihora zone covers the Waimakariri and Rakaia rivers on the northern and southern borders, and from Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere all the way to Arthur’s Pass. The map shows the projects that have been funded to date. If you want to know more, go to the Canterbury maps website and search on biodiversity.

The projects are wide-ranging, and seek to protect, enhance and restore biodiversity from the high country to the sea, ki uta ki tai.

This work isn’t limited to projects on river margins or wetlands. For example, we have supported QE II and Banks Peninsula covenants, protecting vast tracts of native bush and landscapes with contributing landowners who have a passion for biodiversity.

Other projects have helped the Kea Conservation Trust or Arthur’s Pass Wildlife Trust, supporting trapping, monitoring and banding of native birds and kea in particular. However, most of our funding goes towards efforts to benefit freshwater or freshwater-use affected biodiversity. Biodiversity work in the zone is focused on four key areas – the high country, Hororata River catchment, Silverstream catchment (Selwyn River/Waikirikiri), as well as springs and wetlands.

We are always on the lookout for more projects to fund. For example, if you have a permanently wet area on your property which is a good indicator of a potential spring or wetland, or some remnant bush, get in touch with zone biodiversity officer
Johannes Welsch on 027 512 3158 or johannes.welsch@ecan.govt.