Innovation roundup: Land management and biodiversity conservation

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Innovation roundup: Land management and biodiversity conservation

Baw Baw Shire Council won the 2011 Victorian Landcare Bushfire Recovery Award (worth $5,000) for its recovery efforts following the Black Saturday bushfires. This award money went towards the different reserves and groups involved in the management and maintenance of each of the new tracks and reserves built after the fires. Fire affected communities established the fire recovery plans, which identified reconnecting with the environment through the construction of walking trails and improvements to bushland reserves as key actions. Read more »

Barossa Council recognised that only 3 per cent of native vegetation had survived since first European colonisation. Since 2000, the Council has implemented the Barossa Bushgardens project to conserve and protect the region's unique flora for the future. Established on a seven-hectare site, Barossa Bushgardens has expanded from being a native seed nursery to a regional native flora centre, and showed the benefit of being run by volunteers to achieve community benefits. With six display gardens and 152 native plant species spread across the facility, volunteers have given more than 8,500 hours of time per year for maintenance and further development of the gardens. With a new Volunteer Centre built during 2011, the council invested around $160,000 (50 per cent of the total project cost), while volunteers also gained by developing significant expertise in regard to the Barossa's native plants. Read more »

Lismore City Council's Environment Team developed cutting edge developments in terms of sustainability with its co-ordination of, and major involvement in at least a dozen environmental projects. Its Biodiversity Strategy involved undertaking vegetation mapping and looking at key habitats and involved cooperation with landholders to ensure farmers can make a living from their land while preserving the biodiversity. The Team secured $150,000 in grant funding, and worked with landowners in south east Lismore to improve koala habitat and transform the coral tree infested Slaters Creek in North Lismore into a thriving inner city habitat. Wetlands that treated stormwater pollution helped build an artificial wetland on Slaters Creek as part of a long-term effort to improve water quality coming from the catchment. Read more »

More case studies on land management and biodiversity conservation are available on the Landcare Australia website »

Chris Lewis is Visiting Fellow at ANZSOG Institute for Governance.