The Bunanyung Landscape Alliance was established in February 2019 with a mission to achieve healthy landscapes and resilient communities. After a long planning stage, the Alliance has now bedded down an Alliance Board of local, knowledgeable and experienced people, and is moving into the next phase of its Strategic Plan.
The intention of the Alliance is to assist in the development and implementation of shared, evidence-based and visionary landscape-scale projects that protect and/or enhance our land and waterscapes. The Alliance wants to add to existing Landcare and other group programs and work in areas needing research, support and initiative.
The Alliance has appointed an Establishment Officer (Michelle Casanova) to work on building the Alliance credentials and registrations, begin projects and make connections in line with the Bunanyung Landscape Alliance Establishment Document and Strategic Plan.
We have three initial projects in our sights, and one major collaboration. These are ‘Perimeter,’ ‘Little Creeks’ and ‘Nursing the nurseries’, along with the facilitation of university research in the landscape.
The first initiative (Perimeter) is developing a Peri Urban strategy to improve environmental outcomes amongst small land holders. A large proportion of the human population in our landscape lives in a peri-urban setting, rather than the traditional half-acre block. They do so for life-style, potential income and quality of life. In many cases they do not have the skills or knowledge to undertake sustainable land and water-management, yet they control a large proportion of the upper-catchment land and waterways within the Moorabool, Woady Yalloak and Leigh catchments.
In the past, providing assistance and resources to this population has largely been the role of councils and shires, but it is often under-resourced. Sometimes Landcare has provided assistance, although the assistance required is quite different from that needed by broad-scale farmers and land-managers. The Alliance sees potential for the creation of a Peri-Urban Land Management Resource to help fill the gulf between peri-urban land and waterway managers and the information and resources that they need.
Secondly the Alliance has identified and begun work on creating a “Little Creeks do matter” climate adaption strategy for waterways in the Peri Urban area. Again, being in the upper catchments of three major waterways, the Bunanyung landscape has a large number of tributaries that feed those waterways, often on private land, and often in poor condition. Providing information about the importance of these ‘Little Creeks’ and facilitating provision of guidance in management fits well with our plans.
The third initiative is to work with the nursery sector (Nursing the nurseries) to enhance availability of plant stock (trees, shrubs and ground-cover) over coming years as climate change responses ramp up the requirement for seedlings. in a greater range of local species, and in greater numbers. of. Availability of stock may be become an impediment for future environmental restoration works. The Alliance is talking to nurseries and groups with an interest in supply to develop strategies to provide the right plants, in the right numbers at the right times.
Additionally, the Alliance is participating in the creation of environmental monitoring and research in collaboration with Federation University. The people living in the Bunanyung landscape need local and targeted environmental knowledge and research. The distribution and wellbeing of many species in our landscape is simply unknown. Utilising good research practices coupled with the specialist knowledge available locally will, over time, provide better evidence for decision makers and land holders alike.