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New Zealand to plant new forests

Staff Writer | August 7, 2017
New Zealand government is providing funds to plant more new forests to prevent soil erosion, with 15,000 hectares of new forests to be planted by 2020, an official said on Monday.
New Zealand forest
Nature   $959 per hectare
A total of 5,183 hectares of new forest will be planted by 101 applicants who have received support through the 2017 Afforestation Grant Scheme (AGS) funding round, Associate Minister for Primary Industries Louise Upston said in a release.

Estimates suggest that 1.1 million hectares of land is at serious risk of erosion, and "forest cover is the best form of erosion control," said Upston.

The AGS, administered by the Ministry for Primary Industries, aims to establish new forests by providing grants of 1,300 NZ dollars ($959) per hectare to successful applicants.

The latest funding round drew 40 applications and 400 hectares more than last year's, which brings the total number of hectares funded through the AGS since 2015 to 12,451, putting it well on track to achieving the 2020 goal of 15,000 hectares, Upston said.

New forests created through the AGS will improve land-use productivity and regional economic development, she said, adding that it will also deliver environmental benefits such as reducing soil erosion, improving water quality and absorbing around 1.9 million tonnes of carbon every year.