If Landcare did not exist, we would have to invent it ANDREW CAMPBELL Growing Sustainable Communities; 25 years of Landcare MCG, 15 November 2011
Profound technical challenges
We need a third agricultural revolu2on
A Prime Ministerial Mandate Kevin Rudd, Westminster Abbey, 31 March 2009: At a G20 meeting in response to the first round of the Global Financial Crisis, suggesting that the free market needs a moral compass:
“To these values of security, liberty and prosperity must also be grafted the values of equity, of sustainability and community.”
• Equity, Sustainability, Community… • Sounds like Landcare values to me 4
Where have we come from?
Where have we come from? • 25 years ago in Victoria… you know the rest • 22 years ago na<onally, Prime Minister Hawke announced the Decade of Landcare and a 30-‐fold increase in Commonwealth funding for community-‐based Landcare groups ($340 million) • A bipar<san poli<cal commitment, with a decade of funding – Imagine that…!
• 1980s-‐1990s: the Landcare decades
– >5,000 voluntary community groups – involving more than one-‐third of all farming families – oRen more than 2/3 – coopera2ve work across farm boundaries – community-‐based monitoring (WaterWatch, SaltWatch, FrogWatch etc) – Landcare ‘caring hands’ brand recogni2on >85% in urban communi2es – Considerable corporate investment through Landcare Australia Ltd 6
Widespread community engagement In schools, with young people
In community-based monitoring
Farm and catchment planning was widespread Linking farm-scale actions to catchment outcomes â€“ especially river health and groundwater
Where have we come from?
• 1996-‐2007: consolida<on of a na<onal approach – Scaling up to the catchment or regional level; – 56 regional/catchment bodies – Trying to take a more integrated approach at landscape scale – Na2onal investment shiRed from millions to billions
• 2007— asset-‐based investment approach – Iden2fying environmental assets (priori2es) – Business plan approach to investment in the highest priori2es – Market-‐based instruments, private nature conserva2on etc – Compe22ve tenders to purchase speciﬁc environmental outcomes 10
Where are we now? • 2010: Launch of the Community Guide to the new Murray-‐Darling Basin Plan − Ten year drought highlights water alloca2on problems − Top-‐down acempt to deﬁne sustainable diversion limits for all valleys − Landcare and catchment groups largely excluded from process − Badly received by stakeholders and the community − Chairman of the Board resigns
• Landcare moribund in many areas • Catchment (watershed) organisa2ons also struggling • The Hydro-‐illogical cycle is alive and well
Many landcare groups now 2red
Reﬂec<ons Three approaches from 1980s – 2010: 1. Voluntary, bocom-‐up, neighbourhood-‐scale landcare groups (5000+) 2. Regional/catchment (watershed) organisa2ons (56) 3. Targeted investment in environmental assets, and payment for environmental services (PES) through compe22ve tenders and market-‐based instruments (MBIs) 14
Reﬂec<ons (2) •
Three approaches from 1980s – 2010: 1. 2. 3.
Voluntary, bocom-‐up, neighbourhood-‐scale landcare groups (4000+) Regional/catchment (watershed) organisa2ons (56) (Mul2-‐Stakeholder Plajorms MSPs) Targeted investment in environmental assets, and payment for environmental services (PES) through compe22ve tenders and market-‐based instruments
• Implemented in sequence, not in parallel, displacing & undermining the previous approach, rather than building on it. HUGE MISTAKE • These are complementary, not alterna2ve approaches. • Bocom-‐up approaches are not suﬃcient, but they are essen2al • We have to move beyond single-‐issue approaches • We have to con<nue to nourish the grass-‐roots — forever! (a la Iceland)
Rediscovering and Rejuvena2ng Landcare First, some unhelpful myths: 1. That we have ‘done landcare and it didn't work’ – i.e., resource degrada2on has con2nued, therefore landcare failed;
2. That we have ‘done that and need to move on’ – i.e., we have completed the task of awareness raising and improving knowledge and understanding of NRM;
3. Landcare cannot deliver landscape-‐scale change – i.e., we need new approaches that can operate at a larger scale
Allan Cur2s reviewed* landcare impacts based on extensive empirical data over 15 years — Showing signiﬁcant on-‐ground beneﬁts & value
• Other OECD countries would love such an asset * paper submitted to the Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning
The temporal dimension
The shelterbelt from previous slide in 2005 (20 years on)
“Helm View” 2005
Rowan Reid’s Bambra Agroforestry Farm ~1990
Bambra Agroforestry Farm ~ 2002
The more things change… 1992 “The primary role of landcare groups is generating commitment to sustainability at a community and individual level. Commitment is an essential condition — people must want it — but not sufficient. Without commitment, other priorities will always be more urgent. If commitment is not matched by resources, people will become burnt out by anxiety and frustration. Without knowledge of where we are going and how to get there, initial enthusiasm will lose momentum. Without a process for planning for change, involving relevant players… adhocery and false starts will result.”* * Andrew Campbell National Landcare Facilitator Report 199224
The more they stay the same… 2011 “The report identifies five critical elements that will significantly strengthen the ability of national governments to make effective adaptation decisions: 1. Early and ongoing public engagement… to ensure that people appreciate the risks, understand policy decisions, and have a voice in how they are implemented and monitored. 2. Information 3. Institutional design 4. Resources 5. Tools” 25
World Resources Ins2tute November 2011
An engaged community base is crucial •
Rapid, oRen surprising, on-‐going environmental change will challenge governments and industries, and stress communi2es.
Many responses (proac2ve and reac2ve) will need to be worked out at regional and local levels. Successful implementa2on of tough decisions depends on community support.
This requires environmentally literate and capable delivery frameworks at regional scale, involving community leaders and engaging grassroots volunteers.
Convergence in climate, energy, water and food mandates an integrated planning & delivery framework – Rural and urban – With high levels of community engagement 26
The opportunity •
Re-‐engage the community sector
Build an environmentally literate (and equitable) regional framework – For integrated regional planning – For guiding (not always implemen2ng) public & private investment – As a bridge between government & community
Honour the path pioneered by Bryan O’Brien, Horrie Poussard, Rob Joy, Rob Youl, Pam Robinson, Angus Howell, Joan Kirner, Heather Mitchell and many others, tens of thousands of volunteers and picked up by Farley, Toyne, Hawke, Kerin and Cook et al
Weave the three strands together: community engagement, regional integra2on, strategic investment
Community engagement across land, water, food, biodiversity, energy, carbon, ﬁre, disaster response: in schools, clubs, industries, ci2es
Use web 2.0 tools & link to Resilience Towns & other networks
A 7 point plan for renova<ng NRM* 1. Rejuvenate Landcare and Re-‐engage the Community 2. Reinforce the Regional Model 3. Rewire Environmental Informa2on Systems 4. Revolu2onise Agricultural Research, Extension and Educa2on 5. Reform Drought Policy & Regional Services 6. Re-‐unite the Carbon, Water, Energy, Food, Farming and Fire & Emergency agendas 7. Redesign the Ins2tu2onal Architecture (COAG etc) * Andrew Campbell It’s Time To Renew Landcare Agricultural Science 2/09 pp30:33
Underpinning principles • Building Resilience • Balancing centralism and subsidiarity • Re-‐engaging stakeholders and devolving responsibility • Taking the 2me necessary to sort through complex, contested, connected issues • Building, sustaining and using a comprehensive evidence base • Inves2ng in skills, knowledge, innova2on and leadership • Budge2ng for longer term stability 29
Landcare: the next 25 years • There is much to celebrate, and cherish • But the job of learning to live wisely on this ancient con2nent is s2ll to be done, and about to get harder • We need to reinvent landcare, in communi2es, schools, industries and on the web • With an agenda broader than NRM • This is about na2onal iden2ty, about being Australian • Leadership at all levels will be required. Landcare has trained two genera2ons of community leaders • The people in this room have much to contribute
LETS GO FOR IT
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