Vital the UN adopts the Landcare approach – International Biodiversity Day

To mark International Biodiversity Day on today, May 22, the National Landcare Network and Landcare Australia have called on the UN to adopt the Landcare approach to protect and preserve threatened eco-systems around the globe.

According to a United Nations report earlier this month, scientists claim ‘1,000,000 species are now threated with extinction and the health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever.’

The National Landcare Network and Landcare Australia agree it’s vital the UN adopt the Landcare approach to increase awareness of biodiversity issues.

‘Landcare embodies the theme of sustainable food production, landscape restoration and healthy living, from urban spaces to the back of Bourke,’ Peter Bridgewater, Chair of the National Landcare Network said.

He added: ‘In Australia we champion Landcare and all it’s done in the last 30 years. And if the UN had Landcare, it could embrace the obvious solutions to biodiversity threats that really work.’

Rachel Gatehouse, Acting Chair of Landcare Australia says that ‘over the past three decades, Landcare has successfully tackled the issue of biodiversity degradation and species extinction through its grass-roots community movement in Australia.’

She added: ‘And now is the time for the UN to adopt a similar program. It’s absolutely vital to the preservation of threated biodiversity across the planet.’

Bob Hawke Memorial Statement

Vale The Hon. Bob Hawke AC

On behalf of the Landcare community, Landcare Australia and the National Landcare Network would like to acknowledge the vision of the late Bob Hawke for committing the Australian Government to support ‘Landcare’.

The name ‘Landcare’ evolved in Victoria through an initiative of Joan Kirner, (then Minister for Conservation, Forests and Lands) and Heather Mitchell, (then President of the Victorian Farmers Federation).

In 1989 the national Landcare movement officially began with Rick Farley of the National Farmers Federation and Phillip Toyne of the Australian Conservation Foundation, successfully encouraging the Hawke Government to commit to the emerging movement.

Landcare grew into a national programme in July 1989 when the Australian Government, with bipartisan support, announced that 1990 would be the Year of Landcare, and the 1990s the Decade of Landcare. 1989 was also the year that the not-for-profit organisation Landcare Australia was formed.

In his speech to launch the Decade of Landcare, Bob Hawke spoke about the importance of co-operation to care for the land.

“The degradation of our environment is not simply a local problem, nor a problem for one state or another, nor for the Commonwealth alone. Rather, the damage being done to our environment is a problem for us all – and not just government- but for of us individually and together.

Over these 30 years, Landcare has continued to play a leading role in managing sustainable agricultural practices, environmental protection, and conservation of land, waterways, coasts, biodiversity and landscapes.

Bob Hawke has championed Landcare since its inception.

His legacy to protect the environment, is that Landcare is now one of the largest volunteer movements in Australia with thousands of people and countless communities working together to solve local environmental issues that benefit all Australians.

Projects with environmental or sustainable agriculture outcomes eligible to apply for Gallagher Landcare Fencing grants

Sydney – 30 April 2019 – Landcare Australia is launching Gallagher Landcare Fencing Grants.

The funding Gallagher is providing for these grants includes a combination of in-kind fencing and monetary support. Eligible applicants throughout Australia are invited to apply for projects that align with improved grazing management and/or conservation.

Eligible applicants for the Gallagher Landcare Fencing Grants are invited to apply for an individual fencing project grant for up to $8,000 (ex-GST) including fencing materials – up to 12 grants are planned for 2019. Grants are open to Landcare, Coastcare and Junior Landcare groups; individual landholders, farmers and graziers and volunteer-based community groups.

Grant recipients will undertake fencing projects, using Gallagher products. All projects must show tangible environmental or sustainable agriculture outcomes.

Shane Norrish, Landcare Australia CEO, said, “We are delighted that by funding these grants, Gallagher is extending its partnership with Landcare Australia and providing much needed financial and product support to conservation fencing and grazing management projects.”

Gallagher Landcare Fencing Grant applications are open until Friday, 31 May for projects that align with one or both of the below priority areas:

  •  Grazing management: Electric fencing for pasture management techniques using permanent or portable systems to subdivide paddocks for more effective grazing, maintaining groundcover and keeping the pasture fresh, high energy and palatable which ultimately leads to increased milk and meat production, and stabilises soils.
  • Conservation fencing: Installing conservation fencing to help exclude threats to valuable native plants and animals, such as: browsing or trampling by herbivores (including stock, rabbits, deer or kangaroos) and preventing damage from people.

Malcolm Linn, Gallagher Australia General Manager, said “After a successful partnership at last year’s National Landcare Conference we’re excited to broaden our support with Landcare Australia throughout 2019 and beyond. This year’s Gallagher Landcare Fencing Grants is an excellent opportunity for us to showcase – through our people and products – our commitment to grazing management, conservation, feral fencing and assisting Australia’s Landcare community.

Landcare Australia began its partnership with Gallagher in 2018 when the company was a sponsor at the 2018 National Landcare Conference and provided a range of in-kind Gallagher Electric Fencing products to support several Landcare Group projects nationally.

To learn more about the Gallagher Landcare Fencing Grants and how to apply, visit https://landcareaustralia.org.au/gallaghergrants

East Gippsland Landcare Network receives inaugural Sure Gro Tree Max Landcare Grant

With its project, “Beating Back the Browsers”, the East Gippsland Landcare Network is the recipient of the inaugural $5,000 Sure Gro Tree Max Landcare Grant.

“The project’s goal is to increase the survival rates of newly planted native seedlings on  Landcare revegetation sites, said Natalie Jenkins, Project Coordinator of the East Gippsland Landcare Network.

“We’ll accomplish this by reducing the pressure of browsing animals (particularly Sambar Deer) as the current levels of browsing pressure are resulting in very high mortality rates of new seedlings.”

For over 30 years, Sure Gro Tree Max Australia, a family-owned company providing quality products for land management, soil erosion control, revegetation, landscaping, civil, agriculture and nursery industries, has worked closely with Landcare, Coastcare and Bushcare groups throughout Australia.

To formally recognise the loyalty these groups have shown their business and the importance of the work they do, in 2018, Sure Gro Tree Max partnered with Landcare Australia to inaugurate the Sure Gro Tree Max Landcare Grant Program.

“It’s our way of giving back to the thousands of communities and volunteers that carry out important environmental projects across Australia,” said Sure Gro Tree Max’s Josh Isman.

This grant program is being funded through a cause-related marketing initiative, with Sure Gro Tree Max donating 5% (GST exclusive) to Landcare Australia from all orders it receives from Landcare, Bushcare and Coastcare groups that are listed in the National Landcare Directory.   For information about this initiative and to obtain the code to ensure 5% donation from orders goes to Landcare Australia to fund these grants, visit: https://landcareaustralia.org.au/sure-gro-tree-max-landcare-grants-program

Rescue Project gives citizen storytelling a platform

The goshawk with injured toes, our greatest challenge, received a foot massage to get the tendons working…” – but did he fly again? – find Susie Sarah’s story out at the Rescue Project.

Landcarers have long been ‘rescuing the land’ and while doing so, telling tall tales and true. The formal Landcare movement is now over 30 years old, and a new citizen storytelling website is giving Landcarers an opportunity to share their stories of what it’s like to tend to tired earth, conserve a stand of trees or look into a creature’s eyes as they rescue it from harm’s way.

The Rescue website calls for 500 word stories of restoration, protection and rehabilitation of riverbanks and tracts of bush or eroded beaches, waterways, gardens, farmland and native animals.

Along the way it gives a unique insight into Australian lives around the country, and what drives us to keep doing this work on the places we love, in the face of drought and landscape change.

“My boy has been planting with me since he was three. In the early years he worked steadily alongside me nestling tree after tree into its new home with his miniature trowel. Now seven, he darts back and forth to fit in time with the grey bearded ‘watering crew’, sitting up front of the ute yarning with Don, leaping towards me over the furrows from the far off horizon to regale stories of refill adventures from the dam. Such joy and expanse in that run, freed from the constraints of inner city fence lines and roads.” – Kate Read.

Rescue is an excellent opportunity to ask your audiences what they have rescued, how, and why – a classic talk back topic about a classic tradition. Project director, Gretchen Miller has over 20 years’ experience as a presenter, interviewer and documentary producer on ABC Radio National. Gretchen is available as a guest to discuss this very Australian habit, some of the stories told, and encourage your audience to do the same on your network!

“Over time the frogs became welcome at my neighbours’ on both sides, who also created spaces for them. They became the focus of our friendship for the years to come. In restoring their landscape we also discovered a place where time slowed, the beauty that comes from a healthy landscape and a sanctuary for ourselves.” – Kate Clarke.

Rescue is also a PhD research project from UNSW, looking at citizen storytelling for environmental communication.

To find out more about Rescue Project or to read some of the inspiring stories, visit https://landcareaustralia.org.au/rescue/