A new SEASON for our threatened species

Carbon Landscapes co-founder Dr Steve Enticott (front) with Odanata team members in the field.

World-first initiative engages private landholders in species protection

In our day-to-day work, we’re fortunate to meet lots of positive and inspiring leaders, many of whom share similar ideas on where we think Australia can make the greatest gains in regenerating landscapes and protecting our native plants and animals.

Among them is Dr Steve Enticott, a well-known and regarded business coach and accountant who co-founded Carbon Landscapes to achieve lasting change through private land conservation.

Carbon Landscapes’ focuses on designing and implementing projects that achieve real impact on the ground, such as improving river health, establishing strategic wildlife corridors and creating refugia for wildlife.

World-first initiative

In June 2022, Steve and his team contributed to what is believed to be a world-first initiative – the South-East Australia Sanctuary Operations Network, or SEASON, launched by Odonata Mt Rothwell..

SEASON has ambitious plans to establish 30 privately-owned and funded wildlife sanctuaries to save 30 species by 2030. This will be achieved by bringing scientists, landholders, farmers and entrepreneurs together throughout Victoria.

The team is working closely with respected, environmental not-for-profit organisation Odonata Mt Rothwell, a hugely successful private wildlife sanctuary 50k from Melbourne. Odonata will coordinate the SEASON program, funded by World Wide Fund for Nature Australia, with Carbon Landscapes involved in onboarding and mentoring landholders.

SEASON will not only focus on protecting threatened species, such as the Eastern Quoll, Eastern Barred Bandicoot, Southern Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby, Bush Stone Curlew, Eastern Bettong and Southern Brown Bandicoot, but on unlocking natural capital opportunities around eco-tourism, carbon offsets and regenerative land use.

The concept has already attracted interest from owners of more than 70 parcels of land in Victoria. Read more about SEASON HERE.

Unlocking the economic benefits of local oyster farming

Gippsland Lakes photo with thanks to Gerard via Flickr.

Using Indigenous knowledge to bring native oysters back to Gippsland

As Gippsland locals, we’re thrilled to hear that the Victorian Fisheries Authority has entered into a three-year partnership with our friends at the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLWAC) to re-establish oyster farming in the Gippsland Lakes.

Consumed by First Nations people for thousands of years and native to the area, overfishing and dredging almost wiped the local Sydney rock and angasi oyster out.

The team are now testing the viability, growth rates and eating qualities of newly-embedded oyster beds with the ambition of re-creating an oyster industry producing up to 30 tonnes of oysters each year.

As noted in this The Age news story (first story free, then paywalled) oyster production not only has economic and cultural benefits, but encourages good environmental outcomes, as oysters effectively filter water quality. Read the press release HERE.

Meet our Natural Capital Manager, Loulou Gebbie

Building and sharing knowledge of natural capital 

How do we encourage more people to value nature? Can we imagine a future where nature is meaningfully accounted for and included in decision-making? Can we inspire the community to invest in regenerative projects and use the markets as a tool to empower holistic land management?

These are just some of the questions that EcoGipps’ new Natural Capital Manager
Loulou Gebbie is considering. 

After completing her undergraduate Arts degree, which focussed on Human Geography and Australian Indigenous Studies, Loulou when on to complete a Masters of Ecosystem Management and Conservation.

Learning from our Traditional Owners

Loulou came across the Rendere Trust’s path in 2020 when she took up a university-led internship project with the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) in Gippsland.

“The internship, which formed part of my University of Melbourne Masters, focused on linking Gunaikurnai land management practices to economic outcomes with a specific focus on identifying on Country carbon opportunities,” explains Loulou.

“The outcome was a report that focused on ‘communicating carbon’ and developing mutual understandings of carbon in the context of climate change, carbon policy settings, carbon markets, co-benefits and core-benefits.”

Loulou was employed as EcoGipps’ Natural Capital Manager in 2021 and is now leading a number of natural capital projects in Gippsland and beyond.

On natural capital

Loulou acknowledges that there can be confusion about the meaning of natural capital, but in general terms, “It is an approach to valuing the stocks of natural assets such as carbon, air, biodiversity, water and soil in order to maintain and protect them.”

In terms of how this will be applied in an EcoGipps context, Loulou explains that, ”the plan is to spend a bit of time initially connecting different organisations working on interrelated projects so that we enhance our collaborative network for biodiversity, landscape connectivity and social outcomes”.

She adds, “Among other things, we want to encourage people in and outside the region to invest in revegetation projects where the plantings have both a regenerative and carbon value and where investors can get credits that go beyond climate and incorporate additional environmental and social outcomes. It is a fast-evolving area and we want to scale it up.”

Read more about Loulou’s work with her colleagues in the University of Melbourne’s Pursuit magazine.