The new report on the catastrophic state of the environment released today by the United Nations, https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/blog/2019/05/nature-decline-unprecedented-report/ should spur all political parties to prioritise funding and support for grassroots Landcare.
“The critical message in this report is that it’s not too late; we must not give in to despair but act now at every level, from local to global,” said Landcare NSW CEO, Dr Adrian Zammit.
UN Spokesman, Sir Robert Watson, commented that through ‘transformative change nature can still be conserved, restored and used sustainably’.
Landcare is a movement of farmers, conservationists, children, scientists and ordinary people who volunteer their time, effort and resources to protect and restore our natural resources.
“We are at the forefront of the transformative change identified in the UN report but we cannot operate without funding and support from all levels of Government,” said Dr Zammit.
Despite a 30-year history in Australia – 60,000 volunteers and 3000 groups in NSW – federal funding for Landcare is in decline.
“Nobody is talking about Landcare in the federal election campaign. The name of our community movement is being used for a federal government program that in large part does not reach our groups.
“We need bold leadership from whichever party is in power federally to engage local people across the nation in making the transformative change needed to manage our natural resources sustainably,” said Dr Zammit.
Landcare groups in NSW have worked in partnership with the NSW Government over the past four years to rebuild local volunteer group infrastructure but the lack of commitment from the mis-named National Landcare Program has resulted in severe cuts in several regions.
Dr Adrian Zammit
Landcare NSW CEO
Phone: 0457 026 177