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Pop-up will help plant right tree, right place

TE Uru Rakau (Forestry New Zealand) will host pop-up information and application centres in Te Tairawhiti from February 12-15 to answer questions about the One Billion Trees Fund and help get applications for funding underway.

This will be a ‘one-stop-shop' for Te Tairawhiti locals to meet Te Uru Rakau staff and find out about the One Billion Trees programme, what it aims to achieve, and how it is benefitting the community.

The One Billion Tree programme has a focus on ‘right tree, right place' including supporting native tree projects and other tree species.

“With some of the most significant erosion in the world, Te Tairawhiti has a major interest in protecting erosion-prone land,” a Forestry NZ spokesman said.

“As the team will highlight at the pop-up, the One Billion Trees programme is designed to help landowners access funding for trees that can prevent further erosion now and stabilise land for years to come.

“Trees can also help improve water quality and absorb carbon,” he said.

“In many cases, these trees may be able to receive emissions credits through the Emission Trading Scheme in the future.”

The spokesman said the One Billion Trees programme was not about making it easy for people to sell prime farmland and convert it to forests.

“In fact, the programme has measures to prevent this.

“The programme recognises that most properties have land that is prone to erosion, where trees can help stabilise the soils and in many cases provide a future income stream for the farm.

“The programme is supporting people in Te Tairawhiti to turn their unproductive land into a valuable, diversified resource.”

He said that, despite its name, the One Billion Trees programme was about much more than planting trees.

“It's about harnessing trees' potential to improve the economic, social, and environmental wellbeing of all New Zealanders.

“The grants are used for a range of purposes, aside from planting trees, including upskilling rangatahi (youth) and building knowledge about forestry.

“Whether you have got an interest in whanau or iwi-owned land, you are a farmer, or just someone interested in the valuable contribution forestry is making to our country, be sure to come along and meet with our team in February.

“Email 1bt@mpi.govt.nz to book a time and find out what you need to bring along to assist with your enquiry or application.

“If you already have a grant for tree planting, such as ECFP, and would like to discuss it, let us know by email and we can make sure we have got someone there to talk to you.”

To get involved or for more information, contact Te Uru Rakau by email or call them on 0800 00 83 33. You can also visit our website at www.teururakau.govt.nz.