Biodiversity conservation on private land in NSW is imperative in preserving unique ecosystems, flora, and fauna that may not be inhabited in public conservation areas. Protecting biodiversity on private lands also plays a vital role in maintaining ecological balance, improving land productivity, and enhancing water quality, all of which directly benefit both the landowners and the broader community.
As urbanisation and industrial activities continue to expand, private lands have become increasingly crucial refuges for many species, helping to reduce habitat fragmentation and support long-term environmental sustainability. Our partnership with the Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) is vital.
Private Land Conservation Matters (PLCM) is Stage 2 of Landcare NSW’s partnership program with the BCT, building on the success and lessons learned from the 2020-22 Project, including increased awareness of the BCT’s roles and responsibilities amongst the Landcare community, and relationships developed between regional Landcare networks and regional BCT Managers.
Highlights from the first partnership were:
• 2635 people directly engaged through face-to-face and online events,
• 78 field days held on a range of conservation management topics, hosted on private landholders’ properties,
• 149 networking events were held on landholder properties across the state, and
• 390 communication products developed, including short videos, brochures, and newsletters highlighting private land conservation in regional communities.
The recently appointed program manager, Suzanne Pritchard, has focused on understanding the depth and breadth of Stage 1 achievements across the state and preparing for the new round of regionally co-designed work plans.
The $1.4 million, 18-month project is a contracted arrangement with the BCT, which will see LNSW working closely with regional coordinators to meet the 100 events, 2000 Landholders engaged target through the delivery of field days and networking activities, reaching out to the conservation community.
This project is an opportunity to forge a strong relationship with the BCT, which supports the Landcare community to deliver exceptional events and continue building bridges between private landowners, Landcare NSW, and the BCT.
To date, conversations between regional BCT and regional Landcare have proposed regional forums to bring the conservation community together after the COVID cloistering, regional workshops on locally relevant topics, local property-based events, and engagement of project officers to deliver the regional programs.
Ultimately, the project provides additional resources to deliver on-ground enhanced biodiversity outcomes, focusing on private land but relevant to all land tenures and all landcarers.
– Suzanne Pritchard, Project Manager, Landcare NSW