Recognising, respecting and appreciating the cultural, physical, emotional and spiritual connection to country of our Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people, is growing across generations. Land, waters, heritage and cultural sites need protection from exploitation and destruction.
NRM Regions Australia are listening. We are hearing the stories, thinking about our values and remain committed to working towards a healthier tomorrow, for our land, waters and all people.
This year’s theme for NAIDOC is beautiful; ‘Heal Country’. For us all to reflect on how we can contribute to a healing country I ask you to think about your own connection to country. Please step outside, close your eyes for a few seconds and take a huge breath out. Let us all be grateful that we are able to do just that.
Let’s celebrate a healing country going forwards and not forget the truths of the past, for a country cannot heal without understanding and sitting with that history that contributed to today.
Big love to all with the NAIDOC celebrations this week,
NRM Regions Australia
This week, Threatened Species Commissioner Sally Box announced the launch of the Australian Government’s new 10-year Threatened Species Strategy.
Several welcome elements include:
- Climate adaptation and resilience such as conserving potential future places of refuge and strategies for ‘assisted colonisation’
- Broadening the priority species to include reptiles, amphibians, freshwater and marine species,
- A new focus on ‘priority places’ to expand the new Strategy’s influence across our land and seascapes, and
- Expanding key action areas to focus Australian Government efforts to landscape-scale actions that are fundamental to the recovery of threatened species.
‘The new Strategy builds on progress to date to deliver a framework for action to protect and recover our nation’s threatened plants and animals, spanning terrestrial, marine, and freshwater environments. The new Strategy will be underpinned by consecutive 5-year Action Plans – with the first Action Plan to be released later this year. Each Action Plan will identify priority species and places, outline specific actions to improve the trajectory and condition of species and places, and set targets to measure progress.’ – Sally Box
Read more about the new Strategy in the media release: https://minister.awe.gov.au/ley/media-releases/national-strategy-protect-threatened-species
A link to the strategy is here: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/threatened-species-strategy-2021-2031
This week saw the announcement of the Federal Budget for 2021-22. Those elements relevant to natural resource management within this budget include biosecurity, soils, climate adaptation and resilience, environment protection and biodiversity stewardship. Key highlights of the budget are listed below:
- $196.9 million in new funding over four years to implement the National Soil Strategy and associated measures as part of an Australian Government Action Plan.
A National Soil Monitoring and Incentives Pilot Program is set to receive $120 million. The two-year trial aims to improve our understanding of Australia’s soil condition and how to better manage it, assess the impact of land management practices on soil, assist farmers to improve their productivity and profitability, and better support farmers to participate in the Emissions Reduction Fund.
Climate adaptation and resilience
- $210 million for an Australian Climate Service to better connect and leverage the Australian Government’s extensive climate and natural disaster risk data, information and capabilities. The Service will draw and build on the expertise of the Bureau of Meteorology, Geoscience Australia, CSIRO and the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in a powerful new partnership to support this generation and the next.
- Support for innovation and to trial new programs to help farmers to increase biodiversity on their land.
- Budget investments include: $22.3 million to deliver a pilot stewardship program, $5.4 million to implement an Australian farm biodiversity certification scheme, $4.4 million to establish a Biodiversity Trading Platform.
- The pilot stewardship program will be a scientifically robust on-ground trial that aims to improve existing native vegetation on farms. It will test biodiversity protocols developed by the Australian National University. This new funding will allow around 140 farmers across several Natural Resource Management regions to participate in the trial. Farmers participating in the trial will be required to improve the protection and management of existing high value native vegetation. Farmers with target vegetation can apply to receive a price offer for a commitment to long-term management actions.
- Reduction and prevention activities to reduce the economic and environmental burden of established feral animals, pests and weeds – $29.1 million over 4 years.
- Ensure Australia continues to have a robust biosecurity preparedness and response capability in the event of a pest and disease outbreak – $67.4 million over 4 years.
- $58.4 million to be invested in threatened species protection and reforming environmental approvals – split into;
- $29.1 million to protect native species from threats posed by invasive pest animals and plants, comprising of
- $19 million to support research and the development of management technologies, and further coordination of control activities.
- $6 million for Natural Resource Management groups to deliver pest reduction to protect and recover threatened species.
- $4 million to expand the role of Indigenous Rangers in on-ground pest management, focusing on protecting biodiversity and cultural values
- $29.3 million for environmental law reform – through an independent Environment Assurance Commissioner, a pilot regional plan for a priority development region, and maintaining on-time environmental approvals and assessments under the EPBC Act.
- $30.7 million – for practical on ground action to restore and account for blue carbon ecosystems, such as seagrass and mangroves, that absorb carbon dioxide.
- $11.6 million – to expand Indigenous Protected Areas to include Sea Country, creating jobs and protecting biodiversity.
- $18 million – for practical actions to protect our threatened marine species and improve the sustainability of our fisheries.
A link to all Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment factsheets can be found at the link: https://www.awe.gov.au/about/reporting/budget/factsheets#enviro-budget-measures
A link to the media release from Hon Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment can be found here: https://minister.awe.gov.au/ley/media-releases/budget-2021-22-supporting-oceans-recycling-biodiversity-and-climate-resilience
More than 100 conservation, farming and land management organisations have come together to support a plan that would provide a pathway from welfare to work for thousands of people, restoring Australia’s landscapes and supporting regional economic recovery. The ‘Working with Nature’ alliance have released a new report that highlights the economic, social and environmental benefits of investment in practical conservation and land management work, illustrated with case studies from across the country.
Government investment in ‘Working for Nature’ would support practical conservation and land management activities like tree planting, weed management, soil erosion control, bushfire recovery, restoration of bushland, rivers and creeks, feral animal control and restoration of coastal and marine habitats.
To read the report, follow the link www.workingwithnature.org.au/report