By Dr Shane Norrish
CEO of Landcare Australia
This week marks Landcare Week, a special annual celebration honouring the inspiring passion of thousands of Landcare volunteers and groups working on conservation and sustainable land management activities in their local area.
It also marks a welcome announcement by New South Wales Senator Perin Davey and Victorian Senator Raff Ciccone to co-convene the Federal Parliamentary Friends of Landcare.
In a statement this week, Senator Davey and Senator Ciccone have called on their parliamentary colleagues to join them in championing the work of Landcare and the valuable impact it has on the environment. Landcare and landcarers in Australia will undoubtedly benefit from this initiative and we look forward to supporting Senator Davey and Senator Ciccone and their parliamentary colleagues who participate.
For more than three decades Landcare has achieved a great deal of good work. Yet there is much more to do. We are all confronting the impacts of a changing climate, biodiversity loss, droughts, devastating bushfires and now a global pandemic. I appeal to all who value Landcare’s contribution to improving the local environment and communities, to get involved with your local group and work with us, so that together we can build on Landcare’s success.
Through our partnerships over the years, Landcare Australia has provided many millions of dollars in support and promotion to Landcare groups and the Landcare community. We have funded thousands of community grassroots projects and advocated the importance of Landcare to successive Federal and State Governments, business, industry, and international agencies.
We are continuing to support the Landcare community, and the protection and restoration of Australia’s natural assets. We have been consulting the Landcare community, Government agencies, researchers and other NGOs to increase the impact of grants funding, including those supporting bushfire recovery. We are also currently working with many of our partners, to support Landcare and other environmental community groups in drought and bushfire affected areas with on ground projects that include habitat restoration, with important mental wellbeing elements.
In the last few months, we have been able to fund over 86 community-led projects supporting bushfire recovery and landscape resilience with over $1.5 million in funding through our partnerships and donations. The funding was made possible due to the extraordinary volume of donations from generous organisations and private donors. These vital projects are supporting over 50 wildlife species– with countless more to benefit – in 27 different Natural Resource Management and catchment regions across Victoria, NSW, Queensland, WA, SA, Tasmania and the ACT. A good result but there is so much more to do.
This Landcare Week, we thank the thousands of people and communities for their ongoing contribution to care for the land in their patch of Australia.
Landcare in Australia is now more important than ever to the future of our land, water and people.