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Answer

This package would deliver significant outcomes for conservation, communities and culture by providing stewardship payments and other incentives and support for landholders and support for Traditional Owners and community organisations to manage and restore conservation values.

Stewardship payments are proven to be effective in supporting critical management activities like:

  • Protecting sensitive natural areas by building stock fences;
  • Feral animal tracking, eradication and installing feral-proof fencing;
  • Protecting and restoring high conservation value habitats, including creeks, rivers and wetlands; and
  • Developing and implementing ecologically sustainable property management plans

There is great potential, through this package for:

  • Reconnection and restoration across farms
  • Repopulation of species
  • A transition to regenerative agriculture

Other support and landholders could be provided through reductions in land taxes, rates and other costs associated with land management practises which improve biodiversity.

Landholders in the WA Wheatbelt and southwest also have a critical role to play in wildlife and nature conservation. The Gondwana Link project is an example of connected-up land management across different tenures and landholdings in partnership with landholders and communities.

Landholders with remnant woodlands and biodiversity on their farms are excited by the prospect of bringing back wildlife species and ensuring the resilience of ecological landscapes in the face of changing climate. The Gondwana Link project is an example of connected upland management across different tenures and landholdings in partnership with landholders and communities.

Many landholders with remnant woodlands and biodiversity on their farms are excited by the prospect of bringing back wildlife species and ensuring the resilience of ecological landscapes in the face of changing climate.

Measuring and monitoring ecological condition is critical to understanding how ecosystems are changing and essential to the development of adaptive management practices that are responsive to these changes. While gathering this information is of great public value, the limited government-led monitoring programs are unable to fulfil this need. Instead, this proposal engages a community-based Citizen Science network, which builds community connection and understanding of ecological systems and engages volunteers and communities in a crowd-sourced approach to ecological monitoring and knowledge collection.

The Proposal

A partnership scheme will deliver the best results where a diversity of stakeholders are supported to participate in meaningful ways.

The key elements of this proposal are:

  • Introduce a stewardship and support scheme for landowners to undertake conservation and land management efforts, with payments, support and incentives connected to covenants and monitoring commitments that are secured for the long term. Private sector investment can be leveraged from mining and other industries to contribute to this scheme, either voluntarily or through enforceable conditions or offsets.
  • Provide funding and support to Land Councils and Native Title groups to:
    • Facilitate and resource the involvement of Traditional Owners and Aboriginal communities in conservation partnerships by employing Indigenous Conservation Coordinators
    • Develop and document Indigenous ecological knowledge to assist with planning and delivering conservation and restoration projects and partnerships.
    • Leverage existing programs including Aboriginal Rangers,
  • Support the WA Landcare Network, NRM Councils and community conservation groups to employ local Landcare Coordinators to:
    • Engage landholders and facilitate partnerships
    • Support landholders to access stewardship payments
    • Assist with the development of conservation management plans
    • Develop capacity through landcare conservation traineeships.
    • Aboriginal ranger projects and landcare coordinated delivering jobs through traineeships.
  • Support the Conservation Council’s Citizen Science for ecological monitoring program to establish a community-based statewide ecological monitoring network to provide a baseline and ongoing monitoring for conservation partnership projects with $1m funding.
  • Funding for principles of delivery

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