Landcare Australia’s contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are at the core of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by United Nations Member States in 2015. This agenda provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.
Through supporting communities, helping build resilience in food and farming systems, managing major ecological restoration projects and educating about environmental values, Landcare Australia’s work contributes towards many of the SDGs.
Likewise, the more than 6,000 community groups and organisations that make up the landcare community contribute to the SDGs in their everyday work. Activities including educational workshops, revegetation and weed control, sustainable agriculture projects, and marine debris collection, tie in with this global call-to-action which includes targets related to tackling climate change, responsible consumption and production, and preserving our oceans and forests.
Landcare Australia’s projects, programs and initiatives contribute to multiple SDGs and in turn support our partners’ targets in this area. Through our reporting process we gather information from projects delivered on-ground that directly responds to the SDGs and collate this information annually.
During FY23, Landcare Australia contributed to the success of 11 SDGs, bringing together multiple partners across diverse sectors, and other stakeholders to fund 1,079 projects, establish 192,181 trees and plants, and engage close to 105,000 young people in learning about our natural environment, and how we can all actively care for it.
- More than 298,000 hectares of farmland was enhanced through 23 Landcare Farming projects and 26 corporate partner funded projects taking place on farmland, including the Gallagher Landcare Grants.
- The Landcare Farming Program is directly supporting the implementation of “resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production”* through a range of initiatives. 13 groups ran demonstrations projects from Banana in Queensland to Victoria’s Bass Coast, the Innovation in Agriculture series promoted best management agricultural practices and community action, and the Landcare Farming Webinar Series shared knowledge from industry experts and researchers.
Contributed to target 2.4
- The Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants Program funded 1,107 Junior Landcare projects, engaging close to 105,000 students in hands-on learning about our natural environment, through projects focusing on biodiversity, food production, waste management and First Nations Perspectives.
- A resource on How to Start a Junior Landcare Group was developed for the online Junior Landcare Learning Centre, which is supported by Woolworths. Eight learning activities supporting educators to create a yarning circle were also developed, and a First Nations perspectives professional development webinar was viewed more than 1,600 times.
Contributed to targets 4.4 and 4.7
CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION
- 16,616 plants were planted in riparian zones, including 2,000 by the 3 Creeks Landcare Group on Victoria’s Bass Coast, as part of important biolinks in the region.
- 81.5 hectares of weed control took place and 2,800 plants were planted in riparian zones as part of the Country Road Biodiversity Project which engages cotton growers in biodiversity projects on their farmland.
Contributed to targets 6.6
AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY
- One project was funded through the partnership between a2 Milk™ and Landcare Australia focusing on both reducing overall energy use, and increasing the use of renewable energy in dairy farm operations through solar panel and battery installation.
Contributes to targets 7.2 and 7.3
DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH
- Five dairy farmers were supported through the a2 Milk Sustainable Agriculture Landcare Grants to undertake projects on their farms which would help improve the long-term sustainability of their operations. This grants program supports initiatives that enhance sustainability and achieve positive environmental, animal health and well-being and business outcomes such as improved water quality, enhanced productivity, and better soil health and energy reduction initiatives.
- Four Accounting for Nature workshops took place during the year, supporting 120 participants across four primary producer groups. These workshops improve the understanding amongst participants of Natural Capital Accounting and the accreditation and certification processes involved. They provide more clarity around the opportunities available to primary producers from this sector.
Contributes to target 8.4
SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES
- 155 projects funded through Landcare Australia’s partnerships included activities or initiatives that promoted or conserved Traditional knowledge, including engaging with Traditional Owner groups on projects, Welcome to Country ceremonies, bush tucker garden and yarning circles projects.
- 972 hectares of public green space or parkland was enhanced or restored through funded projects. This work is undertaken by local Landcare organisations, and helps ensure local communities can benefit from
safe, accessible and biodiverse green spaces.
Contributed to targets 11.4 and 11.7
RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION & PRODUCTION
- 29,693 people participated in waste management activities across 305 projects, including recycling and upcycling projects, composting, education and other waste reduction initiatives.
- 24,979kg of litter was diverted from landfill through projects undertaken as part of multiple grants programs, including the Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants, the Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants, and the Gallagher Landcare Electric Fencing Grants.
Contributed to targets 12.4, 12.5 and 12.6
- 111 projects were funded through the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment bushfire recovery grants program, supporting bushfire affected communities in recovery and resilience initiatives. Almost
11,000 volunteers and more than 700 groups and organisations were involved in supporting community and environmental recovery from the Black Summer Bushfires. More than 4,000 hectares of targeted weed control was undertaken, and 350,000 plants installed, supporting biodiversity recovery and ecological health.
Contributed to target 13.1
LIFE BELOW WATER
- Eight projects were undertaken to protect coastal or marine environments, including four Coastcare Week Grants projects to local groups. 418kg ofdebris and litter was collected from coastal areas through these
projects. Watergum Community Inc conducted beach clean-ups on Queensland’s Gold Coast, and ran education sessions to improve awareness in local communities of turtle nesting activity and encourage engagement with TurtleWatch Gold Coast, a citizen science program.
Contributed to target 14.1 and 14.2
LIFE ON LAND
- • Weed control was undertaken across 838 hectares of land. 192,181 trees and plants were established, improving habitat, expanding wildlife corridors, and contributing to biodiversity improves in regions across Australia.
- 491 nest boxes or artificial habitats were installed, supporting native wildlife, including threatened species, and 307 biodiversity surveys were undertaken.
Contributed to targets 15.3, 15.5, 15.8 and 15
PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS
- Landcare Australia supported the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals through multiple partnerships and multi-stakeholder projects. Across the year, Landcare Australia worked with over 25 Australian businesses, the Australian Government, the Victorian Government, research organisations, universities and Landcare organisations.
- 1,079 projects were funded through Landcare Australia’s partnerships and programs which engaged 10,907 volunteers in responding to the Sustainable Development Goals.
- 3,267 volunteer hours were contributed to 45 Corporate Environmental Volunteering events by 657 volunteers from 12 businesses, achieving on-ground environmental and education outcomes.
Contributed to target 17.16