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.

Backing private conservation action

The Rendere Trust supports the  establishment of new association for land covenantors

Private land conservation is increasingly being recognised as the missing link in connecting (or reconnecting) habitats, landscapes and communities.

In Victoria, for example, the State Government has plans to restore 200,000 hectares of private land for conservation and in 2022 directed $31m towards organisations such as Trust for Nature to implement a BushBank scheme.

Victorians have, in fact, been covenanting land since the 1970s, with around 1,500 landholders already protecting their land in-perpetuity.

In 2021, the Rendere Trust decided to support these active protectors by funding the establishment of a new association dedicated to supporting landholders and growing the number of covenantors in Victoria.

Launched early in 2022 Land Covenantors Victoria’s (LCV) agenda focuses on raising awareness of the value of private land conservation, expanding the area of land managed under perpetual agreements, increasing the allocation of resources directed to conservation and lobbying local, state and federal government agencies for better tax and other incentives – settings that it hopes will encourage others to follow this path.

If you’re considering placing a covenant on your land (or know someone who is), please sign up as an LCV member or ‘friend’ and get behind the private land conservation movement.

Celebrating a decade of environmental impact

One person can make a real difference in the world

We want to offer our hearty congratulations to the Nature Glenelg Trust, which recently celebrated its 10th birthday.

The story behind this highly successful not-for-profit, which has grown from a handful of people with complementary skills, is truly remarkable.

The driving force behind the Trust is Mark Bachmann, an ecologist who worked for the South Australian Government for many years, specialising in small mammal ecology.

While at an international conference, Mark had a light bulb moment – that responsibility for protecting and restoring the environment did not rest with government alone; that he could be just as successful and perhaps achieve even more if he brought specialists together in a new science-based environmental organisation.

Initially focused on areas between South Australia and Victoria, the Trust now works across four states, runs a native plant nursery, undertakes threatened species research and recovery projects and has undertaken restoration works at more than 50 wetlands. Supporter funds have also enabled the Trust to purchase several important properties (one of which was profiled in this ABC story).

We look forward to continuing our work with the Trust over the next 10 years and offer our sincere congratulations.

Mark shares the inspiring story behind the establishment of the Nature Glenelg Trust in this compelling 50-minute presentation. Switch Netflix off and immerse yourself in this great story! 

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.