responding to climate change

People who might feel a little helpless in terms of climate change are being reminded that Landcare provides an opportunity for them to make a meaningful difference.

“One tree absorbs around 20 kilograms a year of carbon dioxide, one of the main contributors to climate change,” said CEO of the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, Mr Martin Fuller.

Recent weeks have seen large number of Gipplsanders take part in climate strikes and raise concern around the climate change issue while at the same time world leaders have been meeting at the United Nations to discuss plans to limit the impact of climate change on future generations.

“Clearly the issue of climate change is an issue for people in our community,” added Martin. “We are fortunate to have Landcare groups right across the Gippsland region who have been doing great work for many years to protect and improve the environment. While planting trees has always been a part of their work, in the climate change context, the science is clear that putting a tree in the ground has a really positive effect,” continued Martin.

In recent years the Landcare Networks across the WGCMA area have been involved in dozens of projects and planted many hundreds of thousands of trees.

Regional Landcare Program Officer Kathleen Brack says that people come to Landcare for a number of reasons, but that climate change is an increasing driver to participation.

“People are mentioning climate change and a desire to do something practical to slow the process down as a reason for getting involved. Its great to welcome these people into local groups as they bring a new energy and enthusiasm to projects that we’re working on. If someone is sitting at home thinking that there’s nothing they can do to prevent climate change, I’d certainly encourage them to reach out and have a chat with their local Landcare group.”

Demonstrating the desire for younger people to become involved has been the recent success of the Gippsland Intrepid Landcare initiative which brings young people together for on ground works as well as exploration of bushland through walks, mountain bike rides and other activities.

“We’ve been delighted by how Intrepid has grown and captured the imagination and passion of a younger group,” said Kathleen.

The Gippsland Intrepid Landcare group was recently acknowledged at the Victorian Landcare Awards where it won the Young Landcare Leadership Award

There are 72 Landcare groups in the WGCMA region, engaged in short- and longer-term projects on both private and public lands.

The West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority supports Landcare groups from Stratford to the Bass Coast by providing staff to assist with support, best practice advice and information to members.

Landcare has support from all levels of government with the Australian Government funding the 20 Million Trees project that aims to see 20 million trees planted by 2020 as well as other aspects of the National Landcare Program.

The Victorian State Government funds Landcare through both individual grants as well as through funding the employment of local Landcare Facilitators throughout the state.

If you are interested in becoming involved in Landcare in your area, please ring the WGCMA office on 1300 094 262

*The World Bank estimates the average Australian produces 15 tons of co2 a year.

*750 trees absorbing 20 kilograms of co2 a year planted through Landcare would match that average co2 production

Published Thursday September 26th 2019

Members of the Agnes River Landcare Group
Join a Landcare group to make an impact on climate change