Con­ser­va­tion groups join forces

Waihi Leader - - News -

Western Bay com­mu­nity groups have been en­cour­aged to join the Bay Con­ser­va­tion Al­liance pro­gramme for na­ture con­ser­va­tion.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion was launched last Fri­day as part of Na­tional Con­ser­va­tion Week by Con­ser­va­tion Min­is­ter Eu­ge­nie Sage.

Founded by four Western Bay Com­mu­nity Con­ser­va­tion groups — Maketu¯ On­ga­toro Wet­land So­ci­ety, tanewainuku Kiwi Trust, Aon­gatete For­est Project and the Ure­tara Es­tu­ary Man­agers — Bay Con­ser­va­tion Al­liance has been set up to sup­port and grow com­mu­nity-led en­vi­ron­men­tal restora­tion and na­ture con­ser­va­tion.

Newer mem­bers in­clude Te Whakakaha Trust and Friends of the Blade.

“We are about har­ness­ing the power and en­thu­si­asm of small com­mu­nity groups, agen­cies and the wider com­mu­nity to de­velop big­ger land­scape-scale con­ser­va­tion projects,” Ju­lian Fit­ter, Chair of Bay Con­ser­va­tion Al­liance said.

“It is about join­ing the dots across both com­mu­nity groups and land­scapes by tak­ing a smart re­gional ap­proach to restor­ing na­ture and light­en­ing the load by pro­vid­ing groups with shared sup­port ser­vices.”

The launch marked the first year of op­er­a­tion and Bay Con­ser­va­tion has in­vited more com­mu­nity groups in Western Bay to get in­volved. Bay Con­ser­va­tion of­fers sup­port ser­vices in ad­min­is­tra­tion, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and mar­ket­ing, na­ture ed­u­ca­tion, fundrais­ing and project man­age­ment. In­di­vid­u­als want­ing to get con­ser­va­tion news, vol­un­teer or at­tend events can sign up to the new Friends of Bay Con­ser­va­tion pro­gramme.

Tau­ranga district DOC Op­er­a­tions man­ager Jeff Mil­ham said DOC needs the help of com­mu­nity groups to con­tribute to the restora­tion and im­proved health and man­age­ment of the nga­here.

“Good plan­ning, meet­ing le­gal re­quire­ments, hav­ing suf­fi­cient funds and in­creas­ing ca­pa­bil­ity are the back­bone of ev­ery suc­cess­ful project. Bay Con­ser­va­tion Al­liance is pro­vid­ing that back­bone and al­low­ing those that pre­fer the hands-on con­ser­va­tion work to do the best job they can,” he said.

Western Bay of Plenty’s nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment is un­der pres­sure, rang­ing from pest in­va­sions, plant dis­eases, sed­i­men­ta­tion, pol­lu­tion and habi­tat loss and Bay Con­ser­va­tion says it be­lieves that em­pow­er­ing com­mu­ni­ties to re­store na­ture can ben­e­fit peo­ple and na­ture.

PHO­TOS / AMANDA AITKEN.

Western Bay of Plenty District Mayor Garry Web­ber at­tended the launch.

Con­ser­va­tion Min­is­ter Eu­ge­nie Sage (left) with Michelle El­born, Bay Con­ser­va­tion Al­liance chief ex­ec­u­tive.

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