National Wetlands Update September 2012
Issue No. 21, September 2012
A partnership to restore wetlands on private land in South Australia and Victoria
Mark Bachmann, Nature Glenelg Trust
A restored wetland on private land near Greenwald
in South West Victoria. (Mark Bachmann)
Nature Glenelg Trust is leading a wetland restoration project in the south east of South Australia and south west Victoria.
The project is taking place in a region where previously widespread and biologically diverse wetlands on private land have been dramatically reduced in extent and condition by drainage and clearance for agricultural development. Not only has this reduced biodiversity values, but drainage has also exposed previously saturated, carbon-rich wetland soils (e.g. peat) to oxidisation, creating a situation where stored organic carbon is now being converted to atmospheric carbon dioxide; contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.
Having commenced in July 2012, with the appointment of co-ordinator Lachlan Farrington, the project will complement existing programs in the region through individual agreements being negotiated with land owners to return water to drained wetlands, followed by wetland revegetation (where required) and monitoring of the ecological recovery of sites.
Funding has been allocated under Round One of the Australian Government's Clean Energy Future Biodiversity Fund. A total of $1.8 million of funding will be provided to the project over the next five years.
Nature Glenelg Trust, the grant recipient for the project, is a relatively new not-for-profit community organisation based in the southern border zone of South Australia and Victoria, where the Glenelg River is a prominent, geographically central, feature.
Private wetland now under conservation
management at Lake Mundi, Victoria.
The Trust is the latest to emerge from a growing trend in Australia towards community organisation delivery of environmental programs, working in partnership with state and federal governments. A clear advantage of this model is the ability of community organisations to deliver seamless programs for the Australian Government within bio-regions that straddle state borders and to work closely with local people on the ground. Local and state government agencies are also very supportive of this co-ordinated approach; support that is critical for successful project delivery.
With wetlands providing something of a focus for Nature Glenelg Trust, private wetland restoration was identifited by the organisation as an activity that required a lift of both profile and investment in the region; an outcome that is now possible as a result of this important new initiative. The Trust hopes that their early success may inspire other people and groups around Australia, who are motivated to address local 'gaps' in environmental management programs, to consider a locally-based, community driven solution.
For further information and updates on project progress visit the Nature Glenelg Trust website .