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A total of 5183ha of new forest will be planted by 101 applicants who have received support through the 2017 Afforestation Grant Scheme funding round, Associate Minister for Primary Industries Louise Upston says.

The Afforestation Grant Scheme (AGS), administered by the Ministry for Primary Industries, aims to establish new forests by providing grants of $1300 per hectare to successful applicants.

“Estimates suggest that 1.1 million ha of land is at serious risk of erosion, and forest cover is the best form of erosion control.  Through the AGS, we aim to plant 15,000ha of new forest by 2020,” says Ms Upston.

“The latest funding round drew 40 applications and 400ha more than last year’s. That brings the total number of hectares funded through the AGS since 2015 to 12,451, putting us well on track to achieving our 15,000ha goal by 2020.

“New forests created through the AGS will improve land-use productivity and regional economic development. 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,” Ms Upston says.

More information on the AGS can be found at www.mpi.govt.nz/ags

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