Response To State Of Environment Report: Landcarers Critical To Addressing Environmental Crisis

Koala clutching a tree in the dark

19 July 2022: Today’s 2021 State of the Environment Report highlights the deteriorating health of Australia’s environment, as well as the impacts it is having on communities across Australia. Landcare Australia Chair, Doug Humann AM says he is devastated by the report’s findings, but sees hope if the right investment is made.

Please see statement below from Doug Humann AM, Chair of Landcare Australia:

The 2021 State of the Environment Report recognises what Landcarers across Australia see on the ground every day: our environment is in crisis. Climate change is compounding the already significant damage to our land, water, waterways and coasts from threats including introduced species, pollution and land clearing.

It is clear from this report that with a changing climate leading to an increase in natural disasters, landcare has never been more important. Meaningful action must be taken to enhance and conserve our environment, and taking a holistic approach is crucial. As is emphasised in the report, we need to work together to facilitate new partnerships and innovations, and listen and learn from the expertise of First Nations Australians who have been caring for our lands and seas for countless generations.

Forming effective partnerships is what Landcare Australia does best. We have a proven track record of helping to partner our large number of active groups with business, researchers, natural resource management agencies, communities, Traditional Owners and all levels of government, building local ownership of issues and unlocking volunteer knowledge, capability and capacity.

As highlighted in the report, landcare funding has been progressively cut since 2010. Increasing investment in landcare is critical to support innovative landcare-led partnerships that benefit the environment, landscape and biodiversity as well as our communities and personal wellbeing.

Landcarers are on the front lines of critical conservation and land management projects across Australia. We know that with increased support, the more than 5,000 landcare groups and 100,000 landcare volunteers across the country have the capacity to grow and expand their work, and Landcare Australia will be well placed to aid them in their ongoing success.

To say this report is crushing is an understatement- but with a proven track record of over 30 years of significant, successful sustainable land management and environmental projects, I am confident that Landcare Australia and landcarers across the country will stand united and rise to the challenge.

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