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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

2 September 2005

Landcare farmers meet climate change challenge


Celebrating the start of Landcare Week (September 1-7), the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, today praised Landcare farmers for their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with the launch of a new report.

Senator Campbell said the report, Landcare Australia: Meeting the Greenhouse Challenge, highlighted the work of Landcare farmers as a leading participant in the Greenhouse Challenge Plus Programme, a key part of the Government’s Climate Change Strategy.

“Since 2001, Landcare Australia has been working with the Australian Government to help Landcare farmers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while improving both productivity and profitability,” Senator Campbell said.

The report features Landcare land managers from a variety of farming practices and locations, who targeted six areas in which to reduce emissions: livestock management; nitrogen fertilizer management; soil management; water management; energy consumption; and vegetation management.

“Landcare farmers are doing some great things in new management practices, such as ensuring more accurate and timely application of fertilizers, improving pasture quality for livestock, planting areas of permanent vegetation, reducing tillage, stubble retention and mulching, and using solar-powered systems to pump water to stock,” Senator Campbell said.

“Greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture represent a significant proportion (18%) of Australia’s total emissions and also indicate the loss of valuable resources from farming systems.

“The Greenhouse Challenge Plus programme has provided a way for Landcare and the Australian Government to work together to reduce greenhouse impacts by limiting the escape of these resources, instead channeling them into production.

“Landcare farmers have shown that reducing greenhouse gas emissions on farms can produce multiple benefits.

“This report will be of value to other land managers who want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their properties for improved production, environmental and productivity outcomes.

“The challenge for land managers today is to yield more produce but with fewer impacts on the environment. This encouraging report is an example of what can be done at a practical level,” Senator Campbell said.

Find ‘Landcare Australia: Meeting the Greenhouse Challenge’ at www.greenhouse.gov.au/agriculture.

Media contact:
Renae Stoikos (02) 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

Commonwealth of Australia