National NRM snapshot – February 2020

New bushfire resources page

We’ve just added a new resources page to our website to gather information, tools and resources, summarise regional NRM responses, provide updates and share stories from across our bushfire affected communities. It will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.
If you have any bushfire related resources to contribute, please get in touch with us via our social media channels (Facebook or Twitter).

http://nrmregionsaustralia.com.au/australias-bushfire-crisis/

National NRM Snapshot – bushfire update

$1.2 million haven for threatened species

Joint media release from The Hon Sussan Ley, Minister for the Environment and Senator Jim Molan AO DSC, Senator for NSW
28 January 2020

A number of Australia’s most threatened species will receive greater protection from a new safe haven to be established under the Morrison Government’s $100 million Environment Restoration Fund.

$1.2 million from the Fund will help establish a new 400ha haven at the Wandiyali-Environa Wildlife Sanctuary near Canberra and includes construction of a predator-proof fence, the eradication of feral animals and ongoing maintenance to make Wandiyali a haven for native plants and animals.

These include the endangered Box Gum Woodland ecological community that already resides in the area and animals such as the Eastern Bettong and the Eastern Quoll who could be re-introduced to the area once it is predator free.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said that the Morrison Government is contributing $10 million from the Environment Restoration Fund towards Australia’s Threatened Species Strategy target of establishing 10 feral cat free mainland enclosures.

“Each sanctuary will play an important role in the Government’s efforts to increase the number of secure mainland populations of predator susceptible mammal species,” Minister Ley said.

“Sanctuaries are also vital for establishing insurance populations, so species can have long-term protection from threats such as feral cats and foxes and can be used to repopulate areas after they have been impacted by bushfires and other emergencies. We are working with conservation partners to identify other potential locations to expand the national network of safe havens with a focus on enabling the strategic long-term protection of threatened mammals at risk of extinction.”

Senator for NSW Jim Molan welcomed the funding for the Wandiyali-Environa Sanctuary, saying the project is an example of how government and communities can work together to protect our native wildlife.

“Across NSW and the country, the Morrison Government is enabling local communities to take the lead on practical environmental action in their areas, and this Sanctuary is one example of that,” Senator Molan said.

“Threatened species in the Snowys, down the Monaro and on the South Coast are particularly vulnerable at the moment with the recent bushfires. This project from the Environment Restoration Fund complements the Government’s $50m Wildlife Recovery Package – which includes funding for local Natural Resource Management groups to undertake emergency feral pest and weed eradication.”

The Wandiyali-Environa Wildlife Sanctuary is managed by the Wandiyali Restoration Trust.

For the original media release, visit https://minister.awe.gov.au/ley/media-releases/joint-media-release-12-million-haven-threatened-species

Highlights from the 2019 NRM Conference

National NRM snapshot – October 2019

National NRM snapshot – September 2019

New biosecurity website launched

Australia’s biosecurity system is a vital part of safeguarding our primary industries, our environment and our communities. A new website released on 19 August will help Australians find out what we need to know and do.

Beta.biosecurity.gov.au is designed to be a clear and intuitive website with links to biosecurity information from federal, state and territory governments, industry and environmental organisations and research bodies. It is Australia’s biosecurity website.

Users will discover how biosecurity relates to them, learn what they can do to reduce risks and find out how to report a concern.

The Australian Government, state and territory governments, industry and environmental groups have worked together to deliver this website, which will be a central hub for Australia’s biosecurity information.

The decision to develop the new national website follows a recent review of the Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity.

Released as a beta website, the feedback and analytics gathered in the first eight weeks after release will guide the next round of developments to the website. The input of real users will be vital to make sure Australia’s biosecurity website meets all of our needs.

Lyn O’Connell, head of the biosecurity function and Deputy Secretary in the Department of Agriculture, said the website is vital in providing biosecurity information to a wide range of stakeholders, including state and territory agencies, industry, environmental groups, research bodies and other government agencies.

‘You can be one of the first to explore beta.biosecurity.gov.au. Your feedback will help us understand what does and doesn’t work across the site to build a better service.’

‘The website will provide information to the National Biosecurity Committee and its sub-committees, and website users can discover information about how to reduce biosecurity risks and how to report a concern.

‘The website is being developed based on personas, ranging from a beekeeper to a boat owner, an international traveller to a primary producer, and an animal owner to a pest and weed manager.’ Ms O’Connell said.

Visit beta.biosecurity.gov.au and provide feedback to help improve the site.

Farmers key to shaping our environmental future

Australian farmers are on the frontline of delivering environmental outcomes on behalf of the wider community – owning, managing and caring for 61% of the nation’s land.

A recent report, funded by AgriFutures Australia’s National Rural Issues Program, identified areas of common ground between NRM programs and industry-led sustainability initiatives. According to Michael Beer, General Manager, Business Development for AgriFutures Australia, given the large amount of land under management by Australian farmers, new initiatives from primary producers had the ability to positively leverage environmental outcomes for the nation as a whole.

“Industries including dairy, eggs, cotton and beef are stepping forward to create sustainability frameworks,” said Mr Beer. “These frameworks are informing research and development priorities and, in turn, shaping best management practice guidelines.”

The report by GHD has identified potential policies to boost collaboration between industry, research and development corporations (RDCs) and NRM regional bodies, and proposes a roadmap of ten key recommendations;

Industry
1. Engage NRM regional bodies early in the development and implementation of sustainability initiatives, including in steering committees and consultative groups as appropriate.
2. Consider the role of NRM regional bodies in extension and adoption activities, including exploring more effective ways to share R&D findings relating to improved practices.
3. Map where there is commonality across sectors in indicators and data requirements.
4. Coordinate and participate in forums for ongoing engagement with NRM regional bodies.

NRM regional bodies
5. Involve industry in regional strategic planning and program development.
6. Invest in a catalogue or inventory of available data that could be made available to industry under appropriate partnership arrangements.
7. Coordinate and participate in forums for ongoing engagement with industry RDCs and other peak bodies leading the development of sector specific sustainability initiatives.

Government
8. Provide coordination and leadership through the development of a national sustainable agriculture strategy that demonstrates clear linkages with international standards and goals.
9. Progress the development of a national set of environmental accounts to underpin this strategy aiding alignment of indicators and data requirements across sectors and regions.
10. Consider how current and future program settings can be used to improve the strategic alignment of the goals and priorities contained in industry-led sustainability frameworks and NRM regional plans.

In concluding, Mr Beer added “The findings of the report are relevant to all agriculture, fish and forestry industries across Australia, particularly those that have developed, or intend to develop, industry-wide sustainability initiatives, including strategies, frameworks and Best Management Practice programs and guidelines.”

The report is available to download from the AgriFuture website here.

Image credit: North Queensland Dry Tropics NRM