Celebrating biodiversity

WAROOKA EVENT: Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Landscape Ranger Fabienne Dee with Yorke Peninsula Council Mayor Ray Agnew at the Clean Energy Future Biodiversity Fund and National Landcare Program wrap-up event in Warooka. PHOTO: Cath Cameron, Department for Environment and Water
WAROOKA EVENT: Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Landscape Ranger Fabienne Dee with Yorke Peninsula Council Mayor Ray Agnew at the Clean Energy Future Biodiversity Fund and National Landcare Program wrap-up event in Warooka. PHOTO: Cath Cameron, Department for Environment and Water

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke staff, together with more than a hundred landholders, community members, contractors and project partners, congregated at the Warooka Town Hall on World Environment Day (June 5) to celebrate the culmination of the Australian Government's Clean Energy Future Biodiversity Fund and National Landcare Program projects.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke landscape ranger Jasmine Swales said the projects developed under the Naturally Yorke Community Action Planning banner as part of the funding programs had delivered significant environmental outcomes, and were testament to the commitment and contributions of the Southern Yorke Peninsula community and project partners alike.

“Over the past five years we have been privileged to work alongside passionate people and groups who shared our goals and vision to implement a variety of projects, including Baiting for Biodiversity, Conserving South-western Yorke Peninsula: Local Communities Restoring Critical Habitat and Landscape Linkages, Bush Condition Monitoring, Barn Owl BioControl and Rewilding,” Ms Swales said.

“The celebration provided a wonderful opportunity to connect with a large number of people who have been involved in the program, to reflect on what we have achieved together to date and to consider what is possible in the future.”

A number of groups, including Formby Bay Environmental Action Group, Trees for Life, Greening Australia, Zoos SA, Warooka School and Prince Alfred College shared their conservation and sustainable agriculture successes through displays at the event, including Marine Debris, Beach Nesting Birds, Coastal Raptor Monitoring, Rabbit Control and the Young Environment Leaders Education Program.

Formby Bay Environment Action Group president Geoff Rogers said networking, putting names to faces and hearing about the interconnected work that volunteers and groups are involved in was beneficial.

“There are so many people doing so much on Yorke Peninsula to redress the mistakes of the past; one goes away from an event like this feeling re-enthused and reenergised,” Mr Rogers said.

“It was also terrific to hear from the farming community that there is an enthusiasm towards the concept of Rewilding Yorke Peninsula.”

Yorke Peninsula Council ranger Deborah Furbank said she was struck by how this program not only achieved environmental outcomes but also brought many environmentally aware community members together.

“The projects developed through the Biodiversity Fund helped to bridge the gap between the ‘greenies’ and landholders and highlighted a common interest; this program has provided a good foundation for any future projects,” Ms Furbank said.

Ms Swales said she felt lucky to be part of such an enthusiastic community, and to work amongst landholders, groups and project partners who believe 100 per cent in the projects.

“The work that we have achieved through the Naturally Yorke partnership will ensure future success and set us in good stead to further build upon established projects,” Ms Swales said.

“Despite the Biodiversity Fund coming to close, we are now in a great position to build on our successes.

“By working together and sharing common goals for the environmental future of Southern Yorke Peninsula, we can achieve so much more together.”

To learn more about the projects that have been developed through the Biodiversity Fund, or to get involved in the Naturally Yorke Community Action Planning group, contact the Natural Resources Centre in Clare on 8841 3400 or visit www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au/northernandyorke.