The Federal 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.
The first two successful bids for Kangaroo Island are focused on Federal Government outcomes relating to the recovery of threatened ecological communities and helping primary industries to adapt to changing market demands and a changing climate.
Natural Resources Kangaroo Island (NRKI) Narrow-leaved Mallee Restoration Project (NLM Project) manager Heiri Klein said the project would help improve the condition of the EPBC listed Kangaroo Island Narrow-leaved Mallee (Eucalyptus cneorifolia) Woodland Threatened Ecological Community.
“We will work with landowners with patches of narrow-leaved mallee on their properties to help them to undertake best practice management of this vegetation community, including threat mitigation (e.g. weeds) and fencing,” Mr Klein said.
“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 pollarding and ecological burning guidelines 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).
AgKI chairman Rick Morris said the project would develop key strategies to help agricultural producers deal with the growing market demand for information on provenance and sustainable production while 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,” Mr Morris said.
“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.”
PIRSA land management consultant Lyn Dohle said there were 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 said.
Ms Dohle added that sequestering soil carbon in grazing systems had the potential to provide an additional source of on-farm income by generating carbon credits. This in turn may lead to increased production and profitability due to improved soil condition.
“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,” she said.
Both of these projects were part of a successful bid from the Kangaroo Island Natural Resources Management Board.
They were chosen, by the Federal 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 Member Richard Trethewey said this was an indication of the professionalism and dedication of the NRM Board and its staff to natural resources management.
“These two successful board bids are testament to the hard work and dedication we put into managing the landscapes on the Island,” Mr Trethewey said. “I look forward to seeing these projects in action.”
Further information on the Regional Land Partnership Program and these projects can be found here:
Regional Land Partnerships: http://www.nrm.gov.au/regional-land-partnerships
Future Proofing Agriculture on KI project: https://www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au/kangarooisland/land-and-water/Future_Proofing_Agriculture_on_Kangaroo_Island_Project
Narrow-leaved Mallee Restoration Project: https://www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au/kangarooisland/plants-and-animals/Narrow-leaved_Mallee_Restoration_Project