Paul Dettmann bought his first property in 2008 to protect it with a conservation covenant.
He has since established about 40 covenants on properties across Victoria, making him one of Trust for Nature’s largest covenantors.
A sixth generation farmer with agricultural qualifications from Dookie College (with a masters in private land management of private conservation areas), Paul has turned conservation into a business, leveraging private industry to protect land through a diversified business model that services environmental markets such as carbon offsets. He uses the land for offsets and carbon trading and is also interested in eco-tourism.
He chooses his properties based on their conservation values and their proximity to other protected areas like national parks.
Paul said, “We like to have diversity across the state. We’re working across a range of ecosystems and we focus on connectivity. National parks are big areas of biodiversity—they’re like continents and the land in between the parks are like islands. We want to link them up.”
“The United States’ view of conservation is much bigger than ours. We have a limited view of conservation —theirs includes forestry and ranch land but there are synergies between low input grazing and conservation.