Building capacity to protect our bushland
In 2021 UBC asks the question: Is Your Bushland or Wetland Under Threat?
If weeds, fire, and feral animals weren’t enough threats for conservation of our amazing plants and animals, we also have the actions of those who see the bushland differently to how we see it! Some want to love it to death, leaving no areas for wildlife. Others just see it for building on, denying the essential ecological services it provides. With successive governments streamlining development approvals, we all need to be on guard. You need people on your side, and you need to know where to look for information.
Speakers to date
Our speakers this year have talked about how national or global action in setting standards could have a transformative effect on protecting our precious biodiversity.
In April, Dr Judy Fisher talked about protecting our bushland and enhancing biodiversity. Judy shared with our UBC audience the most up to date knowledge and approaches on protecting and conserving biodiversity to assist protecting our local places. She spoke about the collaborative work of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) which is hugely influential globally and is setting direction for the protection and conservation of the planet’s biodiversity and is the sister organisation to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This knowledge is increasing investment in restoration in urban reserves in other parts of the world. You can find a copy of Judy’s presentation here.
Then we welcomed Professor Kingsley Dixon back to UBC in June 2021 to talk about the National Standards for Ecological Restoration in the same week as the United Nations launched the UN Decade for Ecosystem Restoration. The practice of ecological restoration seeks to transform humanity’s role from one where we are the agents of degradation to one where we act as conservators and healers of indigenous ecosystems. And there has never been a more urgent need to revive damaged ecosystems than now. You can find a copy of Kingsley’s presentations here.
And now we launch our series of workshops. We want to provide you with clear, tangible advice on how the systems for environmental protection work and how you can be an effective advocate. We start on Saturday 25 July with an introductory session on Why Your Patch Matters.
Why Your Patch Matters
Join us to explore your patch including physical attributes (landform, soils, vegetation) and levels of protection, tenure, and conservation management. Investigate the threats to your patch (fire, weeds, climate change, development, mismanagement, environmental vandalism). And find out what programs, policies and organisations support your efforts. We will help you work out what you need to know to help both your patch and your group.
Who else can help you protect your patch? How can your elected representatives help? Come along to our panel discussion on Wednesday 28 July focussed on
Influencing your local MP
So, you are now well armed with why your patch is important. But caring for your patch can require more than weeding, planting seedlings and watering them through the dry seasons. Sometimes you need to advocate for your patch’s protection. And it is certainly worthwhile to make sure that your local MP knows you and your patch. Our panelists will discuss why influencing your local MP is so important. Do you know who is your local member in the 41st Parliament?
Our theme in August is:
Your local government authority (LGA) is also the land manager for many Friends groups. This is important! They share with you the role of protecting your patch. But the responsibilities of your LGA extends beyond bush care. What if you want them to manage your patch differently to the way they do it now? What if you think that their actions are incompatible with bush care of your patch? And the other conundrum – as bush carers you are often competing against the interests of dog walkers and bike riders, or are perceived as adversely affecting views, fire risk and general safety.
Come along to either or both activities and share stories and find out how others manage the challenge of protecting our bushland. Check out our website for further details on each.
Our third Workshop will be Laws and Your Patch on Saturday September 18. This workshop will focus on Understanding State legislation especially the Environmental Protection Act, the Clearing Regulations, and the Planning Act. Details to come.
Then in November, our fourth Workshop will deal with Influencing State Decision Makers including building relationships with MPs, Agencies, infrastructure / development umbrella organisations. Details to come.
Join us on a journey of discovery about the complexity of being a conservation volunteer and a journey of discovery for protecting your bushland. You can find the ticketing details in each of the links or else go straight to our Events page here