10 December: Scenic Rim communities have made a significant contribution in preserving and enhancing the region's unique biodiversity.
Scenic Rim communities have made a significant contribution in preserving and enhancing the region's unique biodiversity as highlighted in an update on Scenic Rim Regional Council's 10-year Biodiversity Strategy.
In a report tabled at the Ordinary Meeting this week, Mayor Greg Christensen said the ten-year strategy was almost approaching the halfway point in its delivery and showed partnerships and community participation have been critical to preserving the Scenic Rim's natural values and biodiversity.
"The successes we have had to date delivering on this strategy could only be achieved through our partnerships with key organisations, local environmental and Landcare groups and our residents.
"By far one of our most successful and popular initiatives has been the 'One Million Trees Program', which aims to plant one million trees over the lifetime of the strategy," Cr Christensen said.
"To date, 663 projects have been delivered across the region with 387,612 trees planted to improve stock shelter and wind breaks, retain and stabilise soil, support our local habitat and deliver Landcare projects."
To deliver projects that help manage weeds, protect rare and threatened species, improve natural resources and waterways, Council also partners with organisations including universities, non-government organisations, local governments, community groups and catchment associations.
"As an example, through our partnership with the Scenic Rim Rivers Improvement Trust, more than 190 kilometres of weed treatment has been delivered across local rivers and catchments," Cr Christensen said.
Since the 10-year strategy began in 2015, Scenic Rim residents and environmental groups have shared in more than $477,882 of funding under Council’s Environmental Grants Program, assessing 130 applications for a variety of projects including re-vegetation and weed control, managing endangered ecosystems and species, managing sustainable property and enhancing koala habitats.
Cr Christensen said environmental groups and Land for Wildlife property owners have played a huge part in improving the environment through $826,305 of in-kind and direct Council financial contribution.
"These groups and individuals have shown their commitment to improving the Scenic Rim's biodiversity, and I would like to congratulate them on their efforts to date.
"It has also been rewarding to see the community getting involved in learning more about biodiversity through a series of educational events.
"More than 41 community education events have been held covering topics ranging from managing fires, weeds and pest animals to workshops on our native fauna and constructing nest boxes for wildlife," said Cr Christensen.
At a time when the region's environment and biodiversity is under stress, Cr Christensen said the Strategy serves to emphasise why a long-term focus is important to guiding Council's environmental decision making and operational activities to support the protection and enhancement of the region's biodiversity.