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Field trip supports long-term thinking on biodiversity

Trustees and staff of the Ross Trust were inspired by the environmental work being undertaken in central Victoria, on a recent field trip organised by the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network (AEGN).

The two-day visit included presentations by land managers, scientists, joint park managers, campaigners, landholders and community leaders.

Environmental organisations working in the region provided information and commentary as the field trip included site visits in towns and state reserves over the Great Dividing Range up to Inglewood. 

The Ross Trust’s Biodiversity Conservation Program Manager, Rebecca Chew, said the range and expertise of the speakers provided insight into the strength of regional leadership and the environmental science that underpins planning and action in the region.

“What we can learn by getting out in the field and speaking with environmental organisations in their communities and on the land which they steward, is that coordinated, strategic thinking and collaboration is required to improve Victoria’s biodiversity. It is no surprise that long-term thinking and commitment is needed to improve environmental outcomes.

“We have increased our understanding of landscape scale biodiversity conservation issues such as catchment systems, private and public land tenure, Indigenous land management and conservation advocacy.

“The AEGN provides an invaluable network for environmental funders and even though the focus in this trip was central Victoria, learnings can be applied in other areas of Victoria.

“This informs and guides our work as we make future recommendations to the Trustees,” Rebecca said. 

A number of environmental organisations who participated in the field trip were current and past Ross Trust grantees including BirdLife Australia, Bush Heritage Australia, Central Victorian Biolinks Alliance, Environmental Justice Australia, the Victorian National Parks Association and Wombat Forestcare.

Photo: the view from Mount Tarrengower