Associate Minister for Primary Industries Jo Goodhew has this afternoon marked the success of the first round of the Afforestation Grant Scheme (AGS), by planting a Eucalyptus Globoidea tree at Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula.
Following the re-launch of the scheme last year, $3.77m will be invested in 2,900ha of new forest planted this year, through 81 separate grants.
“The new AGS builds on the success of the previous scheme and over the course of five years will see more than 15,000ha of new forest planted across the country,” says Mrs Goodhew.
“The AGS is an excellent way for people to make better use of low quality land by planting a wide range of tree species. The benefits of increased forest cover are significant and wide-ranging, not only does it contribute to increased carbon absorption, but it can also play a significant role in reducing soil erosion, improving water quality and mitigating extreme weather effects.
“The first round of the AGS was fully subscribed and I am happy to see that the recently closed second funding round is also on target, with a positive number of applications and hectares applied for, resulting in more forest to be planted this time next year,” Mrs Goodhew says.