Natural Environment Award

This award recognises leadership in protecting and enhancing natural ecosystems including native flora and fauna, natural habitats, forests, water resources, land systems and soils, and biodiversity.

Open to businesses, individuals, NSW public sector, NSW local councils, community organisations, partnerships between business, non-government organisations (NGOs), government and community groups, research groups, academics and recipients of funding from the NSW Environmental Trust and other bodies.

Meet your winner

Murrumbidgee Landcare Inc: Working together - Cross Property Planning

Winner: Murrumbidgee

Murrumbidgee Landcare is a grass-roots, umbrella organisation in the Murrumbidgee catchment.

The Cross Property Planning project was developed to link and extend fragmented remnant vegetation across property boundaries to protect and enhance biodiversity and habitat. Cross-property plans were prepared to establish the most effective contribution each property could make to habitat connectivity. From these plans protection, revegetation and management activities were initiated. Incentive funding was provided to landholders to commence these works.

To date, 662 hectares has been revegetated and 660 hectares of remnant vegetation protected, while more extensive areas have been managed for weeds and pests.

The collaboration and partnerships involved in this project, engaging 98% of the region's landholders, has been key to delivering impressive landscape-scale change.

Winners' comment: 'This Award provides recognition for the significant effort made by our small project team and dedicated landholders to help restore native habitat on farms. Our project has had positive results for the environment, and has rebuilt important connections within our community. We hope that by showcasing our work, others will be inspired to work towards integrating conservation with agricultural production'. Jacinta Christie, Project Manager, Murrumbidgee Landcare.

Meet your finalists

Jaliigirr Biodiversity Alliance

Finalist: Jaliigirr Biodiversity Alliance

Established in 2012, the Jaliigirr Biodiversity Alliance is an alliance of 20 natural resource management stakeholders. The inception of the Jaliigirr Biodiversity Alliance was an ambitious act, driven by a committed group of people to step into a new space of holistic and collegiate biodiversity conservation. It is the only successful voluntary partnership operating at such a large regional scale. A partner of the Great Eastern Ranges Initiative, the alliance carries out numerous large, multi-partner projects across a region spanning 337,000 hectares on the Mid-North Coast of NSW.

The alliance is unique in that it provides leadership and equity between individual stakeholders and promotes a collegiate, collaborative partnership. Autonomy has allowed the alliance to be proactive, but independent, in applying for project funding and ensuring that long-term conservation helps people re-connect to each other and to the land.

Widespread interest has been expressed in the Jaliigirr model with several other networks following their lead.

South East Local Land Services: Water for Rivers Project

Finalist: SE Local Land Services

Water for Rivers is a willow-control program in the Bombala-Delegate catchment, a major tributary of the Snowy River. Managed by the NSW Government agency South East Local Land Services, the project is run by a small, dedicated and experienced team including two agency employees and a local contractor.

With in-stream willows consuming 5.5 megalitres of water per hectare of crown land each year, the project will conservatively achieve water savings of 2200 megalitres a year, or 880 Olympic sized swimming pools, for this catchment and the Snowy River.

This project demonstrates leadership and excellence in catchment rehabilitation with a strong commitment to effective landholder engagement. It has shown the benefits of extensive collaboration between local and state government and community groups.

Page last updated: 07 February 2017