In October 2010, NRM Regions Australia issued a statement stressing the critical role of landcare and other community groups who volunteer to restore and protect land water and biodiversity assets. This includes Bushcare, Coastcare, ‘Friends of’, agroforestry, and agribusiness groups.
Collective local volunteer action has been a cornerstone of approaches to managing natural resources since the late 1980s. NRM Regions Australia believes that support for group action:
- helps secure long-term attitudinal changes in communities, building social capital, and invoking sustainable behaviour in production and consumption; and
- leverages government investment with labour and land for conservation. For every $1 invested, at least $3 in value contributed and their work has flow-on benefits in regional economies.
In 2012, NRM Regions Australia signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Landcare Network (NLN) that set out a common objective to:
Foster communities that are aware, engaged and active in ensuring Australian landscapes are healthier, better protected, better managed, more resilient and provide essential ecosystem services in a changing world.
The Statement (download here) outlined collaborative approaches between regional NRM bodies and the NLN in supporting this objective.