A Wanaka-based organisation has been selected as one of the three pilots around the country to receive funding in an $8 million two-year programme.

WAI Wanaka announced on Monday it received funding from the Our Land & Water National Science Challenge to revitalise its Knowledge into Action for Te Taiao project, working with landowners, iwi and community in the Upper Clutha.

The project will be focused on integrating a range of cross-sector knowledge to inform land use and land management, alongside benefiting the environment and identifying value chain and market opportunities.

WAI Wanaka chair Mandy Bell said securing the funding came down to the proactive and forward-thinking mindset of landowners in the Upper Clutha.

‘‘Farmers in this area have been quick to address changes in the primary sector — regular water testing has been happening for at least two years across the basin to monitor water quality on farm, the majority of farmers have attended carbon workshops to understand GHG emissions and know their number, and groups are working together to invest in co-ordinated control of weeds and pests,’’ Ms Bell said.

She said the project would highlight the ‘‘positive work towards the environment’’ farmers have been undertaking.

Lake Hawea farmer Richard Burdon said the regulatory environment have been changing at an unprecedented rate in the rural sector.

‘‘With the rising cost of business it is extremely challenging for farmers to stay ahead at the moment.

‘‘Support to navigate how to implement and track changes on farm and identify potential market opportunities is a real positive for landowners in this area,’’ Mr Burdon said.

The project is set to assist farmers in telling their story of land stewardship, in a way consumers can relate to and have confidence in.