Funding to create inroads on environmental priorities

Vital projects to conserve and enhance the local environment will be delivered by member organisations of South West NRM, the region’s peak environmental Association, due to six successful project applications for State Government funding.

A total of $359,000 will flow into the region via the State Government’s State Natural Resource Management (NRM) Stewardship Grants 2023-24.

South West NRM CEO Sally Wilkinson said all of the newly-funded projects would drive significant additional progress toward priorities previously identified in the region’s blueprint for addressing it’s most pressing environmental challenges – the South West Region NRM (Natural Resource Management) Plan 2021-2030.  

The Plan was initially commissioned over 20 years ago by the Federal Government. It is developed on behalf of the community by South West NRM and kept current through periodic reviews. The Federal Government maintains 54 NRM Plans across the country, via peak-regional NRM organisations, to enable them to manage key objectives such as no more species extinctions and improving the health of Ramsar-listed wetlands of international importance.

The depth of knowledge and expertise invested in the South West NRM Plan, by a large number of organisations from across the region, represents the coming together of environmental science minds, experts and advocates to define our community’s priority actions for maintaining and building a healthy and productive ecosystem into the future.

Three Priority Investment Areas were identified in the Plan as Biodiversity, Land Resources and Water Resources. Ms Wilkinson said the recent funding announcement would have a positive impact in each of the investment areas.

Biodiversity will benefit from funding to GeoCatch which is raising awareness in the community about action to protect the critically endangered Western Ringtail Possum and reduce threats to its survival. While FAWNA Inc received funds to improve its diagnostic imaging technology, enhancing care provided to injured wildlife.

Land Resources will benefit from work to be undertaken by Lower Blackwood Landcare on educating farmers in the Scott River Catchment about efficient nutrient use to avoid runoff into waterways. In a second successful complimentary project, Lower Blackwood Landcare will develop a long-term integrated management plan specifically for the Blackwood Catchment.

Water Resources will benefit from a Leschenault Catchment Council project funded to undertake work on enhancing aquatic habitats in two river pools within the south branch of the Upper Collie River, improving their long-term resilience as key refugia for native fish and crustacean communities in a drying climate.

Additionally, in support of our coastal and marine environment Nature Conservation Margaret River received funding to promote youth education and engagement in marine conservation efforts.

Ms Wilkinson congratulated all of the Association members on securing the funding for their projects and the tireless work they undertake on behalf of their communities.

We are not just one organisation working in isolation, but an Association that represents the collective views and interests of 11 community-based environmental groups spread across the entire South West NRM region,” Ms Wilkinson said.

“We work collaboratively and collectively with our members and a broad range of partners and experts working in the NRM sector to strengthen the innovation, quality and scale of impact of our environmental solutions.”

You can read the South West Region NRM Plan 2021-2023 via the below link.