19 November 2015…Landcare, in one form or another, is as old as the soil beneath us. The modern Landcare movement had its genesis in initiatives to improve agricultural productivity through sustainable land management. It has since grown to a broader focus on sustainable management of all of Australia’s natural resource assets and now encompasses individuals and groups across the whole landscape from coastal to urban and remote areas of Australia.
The Peel-Harvey Catchment Council’s Regional Landcare Facilitator, Luke Rogers, says Landcare is “a community driven approach to restoring, managing and caring for Australia’s natural environment and its agricultural productivity, which generally go hand in hand. Landcare attracts and embraces both individuals and groups to assist in projects relevant to the Landcare issues and community priorities.”
“Modern Landcare began as an agreement between the Victorian Farmers Federation (Heather Mitchell) and the then Minister for Conservation, Forests and Lands (Joan Kirner) in 1985. The two organizations recognised that caring for the land benefited the natural environment as well as improved farming productivity and viability. For example, the removal of damaging weeds, managing soil health and nutrient application or revegetating to minimise erosion and improve water quality. They also recognised the secret to the success of Landcare was to ensure it was community owned and driven,” said Luke Rogers.
Since then, Landcare groups have formed all around Australia with billions of dollars invested into Landcare to raise awareness, influence farming and land management practices and deliver environmental outcomes across a number of different landscapes.
Luke Rogers said the Landcare concept has also been adopted in over 20 countries.
A Landcare group usually starts when community members with common objectives come together over their shared community priorities or concerns for management of natural assets. For example, erosion of sand dunes due to mismanaged beach access or weeds affecting agricultural productivity. Groups normally set their own agenda and manage the number and types of sites or projects and level of work required. Groups have the option of applying for funding from a number of sources to support their work including local, state, and federal government and other sources including private industry or other Landcare and NRM organisations (including the Peel Harvey Catchment Council).
The Peel Harvey Catchment area currently has a number of community driven Landcare groups across the region, with different focusses and objectives but with a common goal. The Peel Harvey Catchment Council (PHCC) provides support to these Landcare groups through assistance in funding, in-kind support, promotion, and partnering to deliver projects on the ground.
To learn more about Landcare groups in your area, or to find out what you can do to support and/or get involved in Landcare, please contact Luke Rogers, Regional Landcare Facilitator, on (08) 6369 8800, or email@example.com.
This project is supported by the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.
Media Contact: Jane O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, Jane.Omalley@peel-harvey.org.au , (08) 6369 8800