SA Mines and Energy Journal : June-July 2011
JUNE/JULY 2011 SA MINES & ENERGY JOURNAL 34 SUSTAINABILITY Landscape conservation applies to public and private land and is used as a means of protecting natural assets for the social and economic wellbeing of the broader community. By restoring and managing large areas of habitat within biodiversity corridors, we enable wildlife to adapt to environmental change. NatureLinks recognises that a healthy and diverse environment is crucial to South Australia's social and economic wellbeing. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources is working with industry, conservation organisations, landholders and local communities to restore and manage important areas of habitat. There are five NatureLinks corridors across the state: Arid Lands, Cape Borda to Barossa, East meets West, Flinders-Olary and the River Murray-South East. These corridors include a mosaic of conservation areas on public and private land, as well as sustainably managed productive lands. While protected areas remain an important tool for the preservation of biodiversity, maintaining and restoring habitat outside of these areas is also vital if we are to protect our plants, animals and communities into the future. Healthy ecosystems provide valuable products and services including carbon storage, clean air, water, productive land and soil maintenance. Industry landholders who manage land for uses such as mining and agricultural or pastoral production can play an important role in protecting and conserving biodiversity as part of managing a sustainable business. The social and economic benefits to industry from engaging with the community through conservation and regeneration programs like NatureLinks are abundant, and include fostering positive relationships between the community and industry. More than ever, industry partners, customers and employees want to be involved with businesses that support best environmental practice. Throughout Australia and internationally, companies are investing in conservation and community projects to demonstrate their commitment to environmental and social sustainability. For example, Santos has developed a comprehensive climate change strategy which includes reducing the carbon intensity of its products and committing to disclose its emissions profile. Santos also supports community environmental projects such as the $2 million Santos Conservation Centre at Adelaide Zoo as well as other conservation projects across South Australia. A number of NatureLinks initiatives are being developed across the state that will provide opportunities for other organisations to directly contribute towards on-ground conservation outcomes. The WildEyre project on the Eyre Peninsula has identified specific conservation projects that industry and other funding organisations can contribute towards. WildEyre is an ambitious, landscape conservation project that is working to conserve rare and threatened plants and animals across 1.2 million hectares of South Australia's west coast. The WildEyre project area falls within the East meets West NatureLink. The WildEyre project is a partnership between Greening Australia, the Wilderness Society, the Eyre Peninsula Natural Resources Management Board, the Nature Conservation Society of SA and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The unique partnerships formed through WildEyre are providing greater opportunities for investment in the region from local, national and possibly international investors. By working together, each organisation can achieve greater outcomes than if they acted in isolation. This can only benefit Eyre Peninsula's natural systems and communities. With the help of landholders, community members and local organisations, the WildEyre project will work to protect remnant vegetation, reduce grazing pressure and revegetate degraded sites, with investment currently being sought for the restoration of Sheoak Grassy Woodlands and the protection of the coastal zone. WildEyre is helping landholders to manage areas of their properties for conservation to ensure the long-term sustainability of natural systems and the services they rely on. Sustainable landscapes and communities are essential to maintaining our way of life into the future, let's start investing in them now. NatureLinks are currently seeking corporate partners. For further information visit www. naturelinks.sa.gov.au or email email@example.com To fi nd out more about the WildEyre project visit www.environment.sa.gov.au/ naturelinks/emw/wild-eyre or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Investment of a different nature NatureLinks is a landscape approach to conservation that provides a practical way for industry and communities to assist the State Government to conserve SA's unique landscapes. By the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.