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New Futures for Victorian Landcare

New Futures for Victorian Landcare is an exciting new project that aims to support the participation of the landcare community in emerging green investment markets. These markets are already large and growing and seeking high quality landscape scale projects.

New Futures for Victorian Landcare will pursue solutions to important challenges faced by landcare including the need to:

  • Develop new pathways for investment beyond grant-based project funding;
  • Initiate planning processes that mobilise local knowledge and enable effective on-ground action by volunteer community landcarers; and
  • Establish systems for monitoring, evaluation and communication that demonstrate environmental impact and social change.

New Futures pilots begin landscape planning process and stakeholder engagement

The New Futures pilot landscapes began their landscape planning workshops in April, inviting project partners, stakeholders and local landcarers to come together. The networks introduced their core stakeholders to their landscapes, looking towards what could be achieved together and building the foundations for engagement in the project.

Buloke and Northern Grampians Landcare Network’s “Windharp Horizons” project mapped 50+ stakeholders at their New Futures workshop kick-off. Granite2Goulburn Group mapped potential project stakeholders against interest and influence, identifying a number of opportunities to work across their landscape.

Both BNGLN and G2G are almost halfway through their initial pilot processes, with their landholders being onboarded to the Landscape Impact Program and a number of landscape planning workshops booked in for winter.

Project Delivery

The core of the project involves the development of investment-ready landscape plans, designed to attract significant investment from the green investment market to support the ongoing protection and restoration of key landscape values.

Planning will adapt the methodologies of the project partners under the Four Returns Planning Framework for Landscape Restoration (see below). This internationally recognised system is highly aligned to the integrated, community focused philosophies of landcare.

The landcare community will be invited to participate in the project through an EOI process. Funding support will be available for up to four landcare networks wishing to participate over the next two years.

Innovation and Learning

Landcare Victoria and project partners recognise that New Futures for Victorian Landcare is experimental and that we are working with uncertainty. We will be learning as the Project develops and plan to ensure that our experience is shared across the landcare community and with other stakeholders. 

We anticipate a number of learnings from the first two pilots, which we will share as we go.

EOI feedback

We’d like to provide all Round 1 applicants with an opportunity to provide feedback from an organisation perspective, regarding the New Futures EOI application process. The feedback survey includes questions about the information provided, the 1:1 support meetings and the application form. We will use this feedback to improve and refine our process for Round 2.

You can access the EOI feedback form here.

Round 1 - learnings so far

The applications the evaluation panel considered strongest:

  • Included a well written vision for the landscape that had a number of landscape opportunities highlighted and demonstrated an understanding of different landscape elements (e.g. ecological, economic/commercial & community/social license).
  • Had a larger landscape scale focus, with clear Working Group resourcing and management structure for the project, and a track record of project delivery.
  • Provided specific examples relating to investment opportunities and potential early pathways for the program to explore in their landscape planning and investment discovery process.
  • Demonstrated engagement with landholders/farmers for running Landscape Impact Program pilot, and a vision for scaling up number of landholders participating.

Advice for Round 2 applicants

  • Provide specific examples relating to your landscape vision, and landscape opportunities (e.g. landscape scale nature repair, biodiversity/carbon incentives, wetland restoration, infrastructure offset opportunities, nature tourism).
  • Based on your landscape opportunities, provide steps and interventions required in your landscape, that the New Futures project could assist with. e.g. “if we do X, we will achieve Y”.
  • Highlight potential innovative partners and demonstrated existing stakeholder relationships that could provide strong local leadership.
  • Articulate how the New Futures Project would alter the business-as-usual approach as a landcare network/collective.

The Four Returns Framework for Landscape Restoration

The Four Returns Framework for Landscape Restoration is a practical tested system-change framework, that can be used by stakeholders to undertake a landscape approach. The Framework seeks to balance competing stakeholder demands in a mosaic of different management approaches and business cases, to supply a full range of inspirational, natural, social and economic returns. It is a valuable tool to achieve the goals of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration to restore the ecosystems of our planet, and heal our relationship with nature.

New Futures for Victorian Landcare is an important contribution towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Funding Partners

Landcare Victoria and project partners are grateful for the funding support for this project from:

The Ian Potter Foundation and the Natural Resources Conservation Trust.

Project Partners

Regen Farmers Mutual

Regen Farmers Mutual (RFM) helps farmers create value from their environmental assets. Our role is to assist our members through education and training, opportunity definition, negotiating with prospective buyers, simplifying transaction execution, and thereafter supporting the delivery of environmental outcomes.

Landscape Finance Lab

The Landscape Finance Lab supports practitioners and investors to structure, launch and finance deals at landscape scale. Landscape Finance Lab has a vision of co-creating 1000 sustainable landscapes for one billion people.

ANU Sustainable Farms

Sustainable Farms is a research and extension initiative based in the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University. Sustainable Farms has been undertaking long-term research studies on farms in the box-gum grassy woodlands of south-eastern Australia for over two decades, one of the largest long-term monitoring studies of its kind.

Natural Resources Conservation Trust

For over 75 years, the Natural Resources Conservation League (NRCL) has been actively promoting the sustainable management of Victoria’s natural resources. The NRCL has a long history of building the capacity of the Victorian community to actively participate in, and influence conservation and natural resource management issues. NRCL has recently established the Natural Resources Conservation Trust to invest in nature-based solutions, including carbon drawdown, that protect and enhance the natural environment. As well as contributing substantial funds to the New Futures project, the Trust is actively engaged in implementation.

Frequently Asked Questions

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How will the planning process relate to the Regional Catchment Strategies?

We anticipate that the Regional Catchment Strategies (RCSs) will provide an important foundation for the proposed New Futures for Victorian Landcare Plans, identifying both values and priorities. We expect that our work will play a role in implementing the RCSs and we look forward to the participation of Catchment Management Authorities in regional engagement processes.

Is this a government planning process?

A large part of the point of New Futures for Victorian Landcare is that the plans are developed by the landcare community to meet the needs and interests of the communities. The plans will have no regulatory effect and will be owned by the organisations that develop them. However, project partners recognise that both the Victorian and Australian Governments are actively interested in supporting private investment into sustainable land and environmental management and there may be appropriate scope for their participation.

If our community does the planning work, is investment for implementation guaranteed?

The extent to which investment can be secured depends a lot on the products of the planning work and how attractive these are to green finance markets. We will work with project partners and successful applicants to best position the plans for investment, however we cannot guarantee funding.

How does the Landcare Community become involved?

Funding is available to support development of up to four landscape plans. We will be developing criteria for an expression of interest process to enable participation in the process. Once selected, funding will be available for network-based project staff and other resources to ensure participation is not a drain on community resources.

More information

For more information on this project, please contact Project Manager Anthony Gallacher. 

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (03) 9043 1945

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