New funding from the Regional Land Partnerships Program
The Australian Government recently announced the successful bids for a share of around $450 million in the next phase of the National Landcare Program, known as the Regional Land Partnerships Program.
With the majority of the funding being delivered over a period of five years, the first two successful bids to be announced for Kangaroo Island are focused on Australian Government outcomes relating to the recovery of threatened ecological communities and helping primary industries to adapt to changing market demands and a changing climate.
Mr Heiri Klein, project manager for the Kangaroo Island Narrow-leaved Mallee Restoration Project (NLM Project) at Natural Resources Kangaroo Island (NRKI) says the project will deliver priority actions to improve the condition of the EPBC listed Kangaroo Island Narrow-leaved Mallee (Eucalyptus cneorifolia) Woodland Threatened Ecological Community.
“Working with landowners that have patches of narrow-leaved mallee on their properties we will help them to undertake best practice management of this vegetation community, including threat mitigation (e.g. weeds) and fencing.” said Mr Klein.
“The project will also help remove impediments to the recovery of narrow-leaved mallee and improve the condition of the remnant narrow-leaved mallee patches around the Island, for example, through developing guidelines for pollarding and standardised management plans for use by private landholders to reduce the regulatory burden on them when wanting to conduct these activities.”
Future Proofing Agriculture on Kangaroo Island is a one year project that will be delivered in partnership with Agriculture KI (AgKI) and Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA).
Rick Morris, Chairman of AgKI, says that this project will develop key strategies that will increase the capacity of agricultural producers to deal with growing market demand for information on provenance and sustainable production whilst increasing their resilience to climatic changes.
“Consumers are increasingly interested to know more about their food and here on KI we have built up a brand recognised for quality produce, grown on good land, with good farming, by good people.
“This is leading to increased demand for KI products which will hopefully mean we move towards KI brand producers being able to sell their products for a premium price.” said Mr Morris.
“The project will look into options for accredited farm stewardship schemes for those sustainable and ethical producers who help to maintain KI’s market access and brand positioning.
“The stewardships will also help improve access to finance from banks in a way that is practically useful for farmers rather than being an added burden.”
Lyn Dohle, land management consultant at PIRSA, said that there are a number of exciting innovations in the tools and technology space that the project will investigate.
“Once we’ve identified the most promising and relevant tools and technologies we intend to showcase them on the island to promote their uptake.”
Ms Dohle added that sequestering soil carbon in grazing systems may provide an additional source of on-farm income through the generation of carbon credits while improving soil condition which may lead to increased production and profitability.
“Potentially, being recognised as carbon neutral on-farm may help to maintain and improve access to some markets as the systems will help demonstrate sustainable and responsible production.” said Ms Dohle.
Both of these projects were part of a successful bid from the Kangaroo Island Natural Resources Management Board. They were chosen, by the Australian Government, as one of 47 organisations to work with local communities to protect and conserve Australia’s water, soil, plants, animals and ecosystems, as well as support the productive and sustainable use of these valuable resources.
KI NRM board presiding officer Richard Trethewey says this is an indication of the professionalism and dedication of the NRM Board and its staff to natural resources management.
“For the KI NRM Board to have successful bids in the Regional Land Partnerships Program is testament to the hard work and dedication we put into managing the landscapes on the island.” said Mr Trethewey.
“I look forward to seeing these projects in action.”
Further information on the Regional Land Partnership Program and these projects can be found here:
Future Proofing Agriculture on KI
Narrow-leaved Mallee Restoration project