Monday, October 23, 2017

Background

For many years, Landcare Groups in southwest Victoria have been hard at work addressing environmental issues in their own backyards. Groups have traditionally focused on achieving local outcomes with partnership funding from Government and/or private sources. This approach has seen the completion of many successful projects, however due to recent restructuring of Government funding initiatives, Landcare Groups are now finding it tougher to compete for grants and attract funding for programs that do not match Government priorities. At the same time, land managers have become increasingly aware of the importance of tackling environmental issues on a regional scale. These developments, in addition to a wider statistical trend of declining & aging volunteerism and volunteer burnout, have made it increasingly difficult for many Landcare groups to go about completing their on-ground works.

In 2007, Landcare Groups from Warrnambool to Glenthompson came together to canvass new approaches to dealing with these rising challenges to Landcare and to build on the former Otway’s to Grampians Biolink. Out of this initial vision arose the Basalt to Bay Landcare Network, a volunteer community-based initiative with the aim of revitalising community interest and participation in the Landcare movement by consolidating the motivation, skills and knowledge of individual Landcare Groups.

What do we do?

Our members are working to address a range of land management challenges, but however diverse our focuses may be, our groups all share a common goal – to harness the power of people and their knowledge to protect and improve ecological health in our corner of the world. To help create large-scale landscape change in the Hopkins and Moyne catchments we facilitate completing landscape scale and local landscape on-ground projects between our members, local organisations and businesses, and communities.

Governance and Financial Management

A volunteer board comprising representatives of local Landcare Groups, and community expertise directs the Strategic operations of Basalt to Bay. Decisions relating to Network activities are arrived at through a process of communication between the board, and the Network facilitator. The Network Chair is ultimately responsible for guiding the strategic direction of the Network while financial management is overseen by the Treasurer, who maintains records of project budgets and reports to the board, and the Secretary who oversees the Governance and Strategic Planning activities, with board members providing expertise is relevant areas.

Partners

As a community-based initiative, Basalt to Bay is independent of Government agencies; however, we seek to maintain working partnerships with external stakeholders such as relevant government environmental and agricultural agencies, and local government councils. Basalt to Bay will also seek to support and work with other community-based groups/businesses to broaden the scope and engagement of people in Landcare efforts. Ultimately our partners are any person or organisation who can contribute to our vision in the region. We look to partner at every opportunity, every project, every time.

Staffing

A 0.8 FTE Network facilitator position is currently funded through the State Government’s Victorian Local Landcare Facilitator’s initiative. Employment of a facilitator greatly enhances the Network’s capacity to realise its vision by ensuring administrative efficiency and effective communication between stakeholders. It also enables our Network to have a consistent human hub – from which knowledge and planning can reach the multiple groups who support our members in the region.

Our Vision, Mission and Objectives
Vision

Sustaining biodiverse ecosystems from the Basalt Plains to the sea in South West Victoria.

Mission

Basalt to Bay Landcare Network partners with Local, State and Federal Government agencies, relevant corporations & trusts and the Moyne and Warrnambool communities to conserve, restore and connect an ecologically sustainable and economically viable natural environment.

Objective
  • Inspire, lead, support and educate landholders, landcare and community groups through linking them to resources and building community collaboration.
  • To showcase and celebrate the achievements of individuals, landcare and local community groups in natural resource management.
  • Actively seek funding for projects and the facilitation of our Network Mission and Vision.
  • To facilitate on ground projects, which improve biodiversity, habitat connectivity and assist landholders to increase productivity and land health.

Further details about our Network can be read in the Strategic Plan 2015-2021 available as a free download on this website.