Trust for Nature awarded funding to help achieve global conservation targets
The critically endangered Plains-wanderer. Image: Eugene O'Brien.
Trust for Nature welcomes funding from the Australian Government and the Victorian Government to help achieve targets to protect 30% of Australia’s land, sea and waterways by 2030.
Announced on 17 October 2023 at the Australian Land Conservation Alliance Private Land Conference by Tanya Plibersek, Federal Minister for Environment and Water, Trust for Nature has been awarded $1.5m by the Federal Government and $300,000 by the Victorian Government to increase the area of habitat protected on private land across Victoria.
The funding will enable Trust for Nature to deliver a suite of projects across landscapes with high ecological significance, as well as ensuring the protection of an estimated additional 2,000-plus hectares towards Australia’s land conservation targets.
These areas include important areas of habitat for some wildlife most at risk of extinction, such as the critically endangered Plains-wanderer.
The projects will also contribute to the global 30×30 conservation targets outlined in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, which calls for collective action to restore and protect 30% of the world’s land, inland water, coastal and marine areas by 2030. Over 190 countries agreed to the targets in 2022, including Australia.
Currently, 22% of Australia’s land area is protected through national and state parks, Indigenous protected areas, and private reserves, and in Victoria that number is just over 17%. Given 62% of land in Victoria is privately owned, and 78% of all native vegetation on private land is rare or threatened, engagement with private landholders is essential to ensure conservation targets are met.
“Protecting habitat on private land is vital for meeting our global obligations and halting the decline of our environment,” said Trust for Nature CEO Corinne Proske.
“With this funding we will build on collaborations already occurring to protect grassland for the critically endangered Plains-wanderer, working with Traditional Owners and co-investment partners The Nature Conservancy, Country Road and Enel Green Power Australia to ensure species like this unique bird survive long into the future. By bringing together private donors, investors and the state and federal government, we can achieve even greater conservation outcomes.
Alison Rowe, Managing Director of The Nature Conservancy, said the organisation was proud to support Trust for Nature’s conservation efforts.
“The Nature Conservancy is delighted to support Trust for Nature and these private landowners in establishing covenants on properties with such high conservation value. Trust for Nature’s private protected area program is an important part of Australia’s effort to protect our unique fauna and flora,” she said.
The funding will also support Trust for Nature to purchase properties with exceptional conservation value through its innovative Revolving Fund and onsell them with a conservation covenant, which protects the land in perpetuity. Proceeds from each sale are then returned to the fund, allowing a continuous cycle of investment and habitat protection. To date, the Revolving Fund has helped permanently protect 7,361 hectares across Victoria.
Trust for Nature’s work is driven by its Statewide Conservation Plan, which prioritises the protection of remnant habitat based on positive impact on threatened species and ecosystems, climate adaptation and water health.
“An enormous thank you to Minister Plibersek and Minister Dimopoulos for their ongoing support, and to our generous co-investment partners helping Trust for Nature’s efforts to restore and protect habitat on private land across Victoria,” said Corinne Proske.
Josie Smart, Communications & Marketing Manager, Trust for Nature – email@example.com