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Report supports more land protection

Biodiversity remains an area of concern for Victoria according to the latest five-yearly, State of the Environment Report released this week.

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Report supports more land protection

Biodiversity remains an area of concern for Victoria according to the latest five-yearly, State of the Environment Report released this week. 

Of the 32 biodiversity indicators the Report shows that one, private land conservation, is trending up and the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability recommends it to be accelerated. 

Established by the Victorian Government in 1972, not-for-profit group Trust for Nature works with private landowners to protect important habitat across Victoria.

The organisation’s CEO, Victoria Marles, said the upward trend of private conservation is a credit to the more than 1400 Victorian landowners who have volunteered to protect land forever with conservation covenants. 

She said, "With the Report showing biodiversity decline is a major issue, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s target to protect 200,000ha by 2037 is timely and important.

"Trust for Nature has identified 225,000ha of high priority land which should be protected.

“We will continue to work with landowners and invite them to implement conservation covenants and support landowners to look after habitat.”

Conservation covenants are voluntary agreements on property titles that enable private landowners to protect nature forever, even after the property changes hands.

The Trust is guided by its Statewide Conservation Plan, which provides a scientific framework to inform conservation on private land across Victoria.

The Plan identifies 12 landscapes most in need of protection.

Paul Dettmann has established about 40 covenants on properties across Victoria, making him one of Trust for Nature’s largest covenantors.

He also uses the land for offsets and carbon trading and is also interested in eco-tourism.

Paul said he hopes to covenant a further 10,000ha. “Although I am sure we will be doing things better in the future, we can clearly see we are living with fragile natural systems that can be damaged or destroyed so I want to make sure that whoever follows in managing the properties can’t undo the good work and years of protection we’ve put in, that’s the main reason I strongly believe in establishing conservation covenants on land.”

Together with conservation covenants and its 42 reserves, the Trust has protected more than 100,000ha of private land across Victoria.

Trust for Nature is a not-for-profit organisation that relies on the generosity of supporters to help us protect Victoria’s amazing biodiversity.

Inset photo: Paul Dettmann