Happy New Year and welcome to 2016. This year presents an exciting and interesting mix of opportunities for the South Coast NRM community. Now that projects are in place for many of our regular partners through the National Landcare Program, our focus has shifted to developing new opportunities to enable our community to improve and maintain a natural, healthy and productive environment.

The team at south Coast NRM have started the year with preparing a suite of grant applications to build the capacity of our community to deliver NRM activities. If successful these projects will assist sub-regional groups and other Non-Government Organisations with training and support, Aboriginal people to upskill in managing cultural sites, enable community led responses for post-fire recovery, maintain dieback support, and provide mapping skills for project officers.

We are continuing to develop opportunities to assist with the post-fire recovery actions in Esperance and Two Peoples Bay. Through the Southern Environment Fund we launched a Donate Now button on our website in December. The response for donations has been great, but more resources are still needed. If you would like to contribute, please follow this link https://southcoastnrm.com.au/about/donations to make a tax-deductible donation.

In 2016 South Coast NRM will focus efforts on developing partnerships with businesses, NGOs and local government. There are exciting emerging opportunities with sustainable agriculture and helping Aboriginal people manage land under Native Title Settlements. With local government, we are continuing to provide expert planning support to help manage coastal reserves and looking to integrate climate change into land-use planning objectives. We are confident that many other opportunities will emerge in other areas to achieve positive outcomes for the environment and our people.

A key challenge will be to maintain the momentum created over the past 3-4 years by large investments through Project Dieback and the Biodiversity Fund program. These competitively sourced projects, that conclude this financial year, brought .1M of additional investment into NRM activities. We are seeking new opportunities to continue the excellent work these projects have started, including lobbying state and federal ministers for new funding.

On behalf of South Coast NRM and the Board of Management, I wish all of the NRM community the very best for the coming year. I offer our thanks in advance for the work you will do on behalf of the whole community to preserve the most special of places within WA.

 

Justin Bellanger

Chief Executive Officer (acting)