What will the Year of the Monkey bring?
Posts from the ‘community engagement’ Category
When discussing my career choice recently I was reflecting with friends how a whole generation of young Australians wanted to be marine biologists. I think it had something to do with Alby Mangles, Harry Butler and the Leyland Bros snorkeling together on the Great Barrier Reef, or Totally Wild. I got as far as choosing between terrestrial ecology and marine ecology for my honours thesis, and I chose terrestrial ecology because I liked scuba diving too much to make it my job…[more on that later]
So, an Australian Environment and Communications Senate Standing Committee is examining the “history, effectiveness, performance and future of the National Landcare Program”…
There is a fair bit of material to draw upon about the history, effectiveness and performance of the Landcare program. There have been reviews previously, including by the Australian National Audit Office (it wasn’t pretty), other Senate Committees, the Departments themselves and the occasional think-piece from academia and stakeholders. Of course there will be the necessary attempts to understand the tangled nature of the Landcare movement, where the money has gone, and what has been achieved. This reflection is important, very important, but only really important as an enabler to help shape a positive future for the Australian landscape – its biodiversity and its people.
So what of the future? This is the bit where vision and leadership is required – and who better to help forge that vision than those elected to represent the States and Territories of our federated nation.
Before we lament cuts to individual programs in the Australian Government’s environment portfolio – let’s put it all into perspective…
According to the Commission of Audit (CoA) (for 2012/13) the Environment Department’s portfolio is approximately 11% of the size of the Department of Defence. To put this in perspective, I scaled the cool constellation infographics the CoA used to show the relative investments in these portfolios the Australian community is making.
The Environment portfolio is the constellation to the left, within a green dotted circle, so you don’t miss it…
Landcare is celebrating it’s twenty-fifth birthday this year. But what is Landcare today?
For a background on the development of Landcare, this publication is great, it highlights the organic development of the Landcare movement, especially the individuals and groups involved.
If you want to engage in Landcare, who do you talk to?
The Green Army could play a vital role re-engaging the Australian community in their landscape…
When the billion dollar biodiversity fund was announced earlier this decade it was, in parts, derided as another “missed opportunity”. Within a few short years about half of that billion dollars evaporated.
With the clarity of hindsight we now recognise the real missed opportunity – not the targeting of those investments per se – but rather failing to secure half a billion dollars for biodiversity management. When programs are not welcomed by key constituents, and then don’t have a particularly high public profile, it is much easier to make a decision to terminate a program.
Environmental programs come in different shapes and sizes, with different priorities. No single program will fix all of our environmental challenges in Australia. So what good could come of a modern-day Green Army?