I've often written about the importance of the Australian Government’s National Reserve System Program. It provides $2 for every $1 we receive from your donations towards acquiring new reserves.
Volunteers Margaret and Peter Calder, Trevor Blake and Richard Alcorn repair a gate on Boolcoomatta Reserve, SA. Photo Margaret Alcorn.
This support has helped us to purchase and establish the Bon Bon (South Australia), Cravens Peak (Queensland), Charles Darwin (Western Australia), Nardoo Hills (Victoria) and Tarcutta Hills (New South Wales) reserves.
This program is unparalleled in the world. Independent assessments have consistently rated it as one of the most cost-effective and efficient of all the natural resource management programs in Australia.
There's also evidence to show that it's up to seven times more effective to acquire land that's essentially intact, as Bush Heritage usually does. To secure the best of our most intact systems is now critical, particularly in the face of global climate change, regional extinction of species and the threats posed by inappropriate fire regimes, pest plants and feral animals.
With all of this in mind, Bush Heritage Australia congratulates the Australian Government on its recent announcement that it will increase, by almost five times, the amount of funding for the National Reserve System Program over the next five years.
Although the $180 million pledged is less than the $250 million we were seeking, it will nonetheless give a tremendous boost to Australia’s national estate of protected areas, and I hope it will also encourage us all to support the Bush Heritage land acquisitions program.
It will help us to achieve our vision of owning and managing 1% of Australia by 2025 to protect our most important ecosystems and threatened species.
I'm confident that together we'll reach this goal. But as we strive to do this, please continue to support the critical ongoing management, maintenance and monitoring of our reserves and those of our partners.
This is very costly but it's vital. We're working hard to be as effective and efficient as we can be in reaching our management goals and working with partners, including research institutions and volunteers, to deliver security to the places we protect and steward.
As we approach the end of the financial year, you may be reflecting on your capacity to support our work. Please join me in helping our management programs, the work our staff and volunteers do to actively manage and care for the land.
This will enable us to secure, to the best of our ability, the land systems, plants and animals that your funds have enabled us to protect in the first instance.
Then, with the extraordinary leverage of the National Reserve System Program, we can continue our strategy of securing additional land and waterways, knowing that these areas too will receive the effective management they need.
Doug Humann, CEO