China looks to Tasmania for NRM leadership
The Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) and NRM South in Tasmania’s southern region are collaborating to share expertise in NRM management and support local and national project initiatives.
- China is interested in partnering with NRM organisations in Tasmania and across Australia.
- China could provide investment to support valuable NRM research and projects.
- Through the collaboration, Tasmania is being recognised as a leader and hub of activity for NRM deliverables.
- This collaboration is providing pathways to trade and investment.
China has embarked on an ambitious long-term plan for the modernisation of its agriculture with an emphasis on more sustainable farming practices, better natural resource management and environmental improvement.
CAAS recognises Australian research, development and extension capabilities in sustainable agriculture and natural resource management as world leading. They acknowledge Australia’s high level capacity in policy, planning, program management, research, innovation, technology transfer from science to practical farming, and our highly effective institutional structures for NRM.
CAAS is interested in the capacity of Australia’s regional NRM bodies to bridge agricultural science and farming practice, to facilitate NRM at a catchment scale and to do this through partnerships with many stakeholders at a regional level.
CAAS have indicated their willingness to participate in an Australia-China Sustainable Agriculture Technology Forum organised by NRM South in southern Tasmania in 2017-18 and three initial joint projects:
- Soil nutrient and moisture management; and soil health remediation through science, technology and farming practices.
- Restoration of farmland waterways and water bodies for improved water quality on farmland and the adjoining environment.
- Sustaining healthy bee populations for pollination services.
Why pursue this initiative with China?
It is expected that projects and other activities resulting from the CAAS-NRM South collaboration will bring investment to NRM in Tasmania and Australia and be a catalyst for further interest in NRM nationally. It has put NRM South at the forefront of Tasmanian and Australian discussions about agricultural and NRM cooperation between Tasmania and China.
New income-earning opportunities
NRM South has investigated new revenue opportunities in China for Tasmanian expertise in sustainable agriculture and NRM.
The MoU will scope the cooperation between NRM South and CAAS and will:
- Focus cooperation on the transfer of proven science and research results to agricultural practices.
- Stimulate further trade between China, Tasmania and mainland Australia in agricultural services and high value agricultural products.
- Exchange knowledge based on research that that has demonstrated benefits for sustainable agriculture and NRM in Tasmania and China.
- Provide design, management, consulting and educational services in sustainable agriculture and NRM to CAAS and Chinese agriculture on a fee-for-service basis.
- Project manage conferences, forums, study tours and joint projects at commercial rates.
- Support investment by CAAS in Tasmanian sustainable agriculture and NRM projects to provide applied research, learning and people exchange opportunities for CAAS and Chinese agriculture.
- Undertake trials of new technology and innovative practices in Tasmania that may lead to commercialisation.
- Broker access for CAAS to other NRM regions in the Australian network.
What is the value of this initiative?
In addition to providing new sources of revenue for NRM South, the China initiative is already gaining recognition from NRM South’s primary funders (the Australian and Tasmanian Governments) of the state, national and international value of Tasmanian / Australian NRM knowhow, practices and institutional arrangements.
The benefits are being communicated to regional stakeholders to demonstrate that the southern Tasmanian community will gain from NRM South having access to more revenue and resources to deliver high quality NRM services to the region into the foreseeable future.