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Publications archive - International Activities and Commitments

Disclaimer

Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Australia's report to the UNCSD - 1995

Implementation of Agenda 21
Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, 1995
ISBN 0 6444 3152 0

Case study - Land for wildlife - its role in conserving biodiversity

A Case Study in Biodiversity Conservation

The Land for Wildlife scheme helps private landholders to conserve and enhance biodiversity on their land. Participants include farmers, small-block owners, local government, schools and golf-courses. The scheme is administered by the Victorian Department of Conservation and Natural Resources with input from the Bird Observers Club of Australia, reflecting the partnership between government and community. Its strength lies in the mix of voluntary conservation and strategic government support. Importantly, the scheme recognises that successful biodiversity conservation requires community involvement and cannot be directed by government alone.

The scheme provides continuing encouragement and advice to a rapidly growing number of property managers in the State of Victoria, south-eastern Australia. Over 2900 properties are registered. Membership is voluntary and registration is based on an interview and property owners are encouraged to work toward registration with support from the scheme's extension staff, publications and field days. Extension staff provide practical advice and guidance and are often appointed from within the rural community.

The Land for Wildlife scheme also aims to assist landholders to find better solutions, that involve protection and enhancement of wildlife habitat, to land management problems they face. Land for Wildlife seeks to encourage change in attitudes and promotes an ethic of conserving nature on private land. Landholders involved in the scheme undertake practical management works such as fencing stream sides to exclude livestock, re- establishing understorey vegetation and controlling bushland weeds.

Almost two thirds of Victoria is private land (over 15 million ha). As a consequence of the pattern of European settlement, certain habitat types, and their associated wildlife, are poorly represented in the reserve system. These habitats include woodland, grassland and shallow freshwater wetland ecosystems. Fragments of these ecosystems, represented by fortuitously retained native vegetation, remain scattered across private land. They support an extraordinary assemblage of flora and fauna species including threatened wildlife such as Grey-crowned Babblers, Bush Thick-knees, Superb Parrots, Brolgas, Regent Honeyeaters, Plains-wanderers, Eastern Barred Bandicoots, Squirrel Gliders, and Brush-tailed Phascogales. Many of these habitats and species are represented on Land for Wildlife properties.

Land for Wildlife landholders are currently managing over 63 000 hectares of habitat for wildlife on properties covering over a quarter of a million hectares. They are leaders on conserving biodiversity through their own actions and in managing threats posed by human occupation of the majority of the land.

Land for Wildlife offers a means of involving and communicating with landholders and the wider community about how and why we need to protect biodiversity, of strategically linking up priority areas such as reserves, of retaining and restoring biodiversity on private land, and of contributing to sustainable agriculture. It is an example of close collaboration between the private and public sector. Land for Wildlife complements the biological reserve systems by promoting better management of the surrounding landscape in which reserves are located and where human activities are an integral part.