From the Chair’s desk…
Our push towards Global
ALI is excited to announce our formal membership of the EverGreening Global Alliance. We’ve been working with the Alliance for some time now and there is more news on their programs later in this newsletter.
This is a integral part of our strategy to become more influential across the globe and ensures that ALI is invited to participate in discussions about large-scale funding and other opportunities. It also provides ALI with an opportunity to influence the operation of the Alliance, as they are a member-driven organisation.
Coupled with that is our continued work to become Global Landcare. We have formally invited Landcare International and the Secretariat of International Landcare to merge with us and our small team is working on how to make this happen – stay tuned!
We are a small but well connected team and change is inevitable.
I’d like to say thank you to Christine Brooke who is stepping down from Landcare Victoria Incorporation and hence, will no longer be our LVI representative on the ALI Board. We really appreciate your input into our organization, support for international projects through the ALI Fund and maintaining our strong links to Victoria’s Landcare. We wish you well.
Congratulations to our Board member Clinton Muller, who has been appointed Program Coordinator for Restore Australia, the single largest restoration effort in Australia. See more on that later too!
National Landcare Conference, Sydney now to be held March 10 to 12, 2021
Abstract proposals for presentation at the National Conference are also still open. Australian Landcare International (ALI) is trying to greatly increase conference coverage of overseas activities and have already submitted several abstracts. We hope to promote Landcare’s achievements abroad. Please consider submitting an abstract – the call ends on July 1, 2020. https://landcareaustralia.org.au/call-for-abstracts/
Responses to Covid-19
We hope you are all safe and well and looking after your families and community. Landcare continues to play an important part in times of difficulties. We were especially heartened to see examples such as this message from the Kabale Agroforestry Network – a wonderful example of keeping ourselves and communities safe in these uncertain times.
Kabale Agroforestry Network would like to join other actors in the fight against the prevailing Coronavirus pandemic and appeals to its its members, partner community group members, and partner junior landcare school children to strictly adhere to guidelines given by the President of Uganda, The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization.
- Wash your hands well regularly
- Practice social isolation, and keep the recommended social distance
- Exercise regularly, but keep away from gyms for now
- Avoid stressors, do not worry much about your business, studies, or other future uncertainties
- Get enough seep, at least 7 hours
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle and eat vitamin C rich foods
- Take advantage of current rains and open a kitchen garden near your house, and grow vegetables such as spinach, Biringanya, green pepper, Leeks, garlic, lemon, guavas etc..
- KEEP SAFE, KEEP HEALTHY
Announced by Jimmy Musiime, Chairman, Kabale Agroforestry Network (KAN)
At ALI, we wish you all the best as we all deal with these uncertain times, Andrea Mason.
The ALI Fund
In February 2020, the ALI fund allocated funds to 11 projects. In response to all the restrictions across the globe due to Covid -19 and the inevitable delays with Landcare work, the ALI Fund Committee has extended the final date for completion of all our 2020 Small grants program to 30th June 2021. This is a 6 month extension to all the projects (Initially due 31st Dec 2020).
We hope that by extending the time you have to deliver your projects will take any undue pressure off you and your local communities.
You can find out more at https://alci.com.au/overseas-landcare-fund/olf-funds-and-projects/
It’s nearly tax time – We need your support to help more Landcare projects across the Globe.
All donations to the ALI Fund are tax deductible and with all ALI Board members being volunteers, 100% of your donations goes to fund projects and support training
– and we know where our funds are going – 21 Countries, 69 projects, AUD $48,260 so far!
Our wish list includes:
- Development of on line training resources to support everyone when face to face isn’t available
- Supporting landcare groups undertake vital work – the demand has been greater than funds available this past round. We have some great projects we would love to support https://alci.com.au/potential-projects-that-need-your-help/
- Supporting overseas Landcare members to join us at the National Landcare Conference in March 2021;
- Supporting the development of the Landcare program in the Pacific.
To donate, just go to our website – https://alci.com.au/overseas-landcare-fund/
and this is how it can unite people from different sides of the world…
Gippsland group in Victoria supports Kenyan all female Landcare start-up
Kenya and Gippsland are culturally and physically worlds apart, but the principles and language of Landcare are universal. The ‘Rise and Shine’ Group, in Kenya’s semi-arid Machakos District, south of the capital Nairobi, is an all women affair and they began with the principle of helping each other, through ideas and through group effort.
In true Landcare grass roots style, they collected stones from the river and sold them for road construction. Then, with a little cash, they bought sisal plants to help prevent soil erosion in the gullies. It is also an important cash crop. Last year, the government gave each of the 20 participants 10 chickens. They then started ‘table banking’ – lending others small amounts of money, giving preference to those with the least (reversing the usual banking priorities). Now they have been learning about drought resistant crops and planning for climate change.
Australian Landcare International’s Belinda Brennan has visited several times and was telling others about the amazing work. The Yarram Urban members in Australia were moved to give AU$500 to the effort. Now, where water is scarce, Rise and Shine is buying a large water tank, building a nursery, and planting vegetables for the community.
Trevor Colvin of Yarram Urban encourages us all the consider giving: “What is really impressive is how far AU$500 can go in Africa. Come on other groups. … Many groups could easily spare $500, so consider sponsoring internationally. Every cent gets into the ground; even the bank forgoes its fees. You could be making a major difference to the health and wellbeing of many Africans”.
Australian Landcare International only gives funds to groups visited by its volunteer members and assessed personally, so you can be sure your donation will be spent where it is needed.
News from Around the world
PEPY Empowering Youth, Cambodia
PEPY Empowering Youth is a Cambodia-based education and youth-leadership non-profit organization (LNGO).
The PEPY founding team was inspired by the belief that education is the key to sustainable change. Through our Education and Community Development Programs, PEPY Empowering Youth has reached over 3,100 young people by working directly with government-funded schools, community members, and leaders in Chanleas Dai Commune, an area in northwest Cambodia. Dedicated local leaders, collaborations with other like-minded organizations, and private donations help us realize our mission – to support Cambodian youth in expanding their opportunities.
We do this by working with young people, investing time and resources to connect them with the skills, systems and inspiration necessary to achieve their goals, raise standards of living and improve the quality of education in their communities.
In the fight against poverty, high dropout rates, low awareness of the value of higher education, and illegal migration, PEPY aims to make Cambodian youth in rural areas aware of their own potential and career opportunities, and support them academically, financially, mentally, and physically.
In order to do this, PEPY provides Dream Management classes to high school students in our target areas, showcasing local job opportunities and required skills for the labor market, providing access to scholarship opportunities from many sources, and providing lessons on capacity building. In addition, PEPY’s Scholarship Program provides tuition, healthcare, mentoring, a living allowance, and access to the Learning Center to dedicated but financially disadvantaged students to pursue higher education in Siem Reap.
The Learning Center is comprised of English, ICT (Information and Communications Technology), and soft skill classes, where students studying in Siem Reap have access to context-driven, critical-thinking-based instruction on areas that employers in Cambodia have noted to be the most important in potential employees, but which are lacking in most public education settings. Learning Center students also have the opportunity to build their creativity and physical health through music, art, writing, yoga, and football classes.
The majority of people in Srei Snam District grow their vegetable by using their own traditional way as they do not have access to agricultural training. This project will implement in 28 Makara High School which is located in the central of this district where students come to continue their high school education. The main aim of this project is educate high school students to learn how to grow vegetable in a modern ways so that they can spread the messages to their families.
The ALI – Overseas Landcare Program funded our first project in Cambodia this year. PEPY Empowering Youth will be using the funds to create a vegetable garden, look at new growing techniques and educate high school students allowing them to spread the message to their families. We wish them all the best and cant wait to hear how it all goes. Good luck and best wishes.
For this first stage, the project will focus on refilling the soil to ensure that it will not be under water during the rainy seasons. The project then will look for the agricultural specialist from other Non-Profit Organizations to come and train students how to grow vegetable. The training will include the practical and demonstration time for participants.
You can follow the projects progress on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pepyempoweringyouth
NZ Landcare Trust’s Catchment Coordinator Training Programme
The COVID-19 crisis has led to physical distancing requirements in many countries. This has led to the promotion of a wide variety of on-line training packages to support distance learning. The NZ Landcare Trust has been using the lockdown period to develop a catchment coordinator training programme that can be delivered remotely, over the internet.
The aim of this training programme is to provide a simple and informative way to educate new catchment coordinators on what their role is within a catchment group. The intended outcome of the training programme is “effective catchment groups delivering measurable, sustainable land and water management”. The training includes advice and guidance on how to form a catchment group and how to ensure the long-term success of the group.
The programme uses Moodle, a web-based educational platform, that supports training via a combination of approaches. These include an online series of webinars, interactive videos, and a forum for participants to ask questions and get to know one another. There is a wide range of support material, including PowerPoint presentations and access to other resources for those wishing to dive deeper into topics.
The audience for the training is professional staff, volunteers, and catchment/farmer leaders involved in supporting catchment management initiatives. The content will be relevant to anyone undertaking this type of role, whether in New Zealand or abroad.
The programme consists of six courses
- Understanding catchment management & catchment groups
- Roles and relationships
- Planning for success
- The importance of engagement and communication
- Making things happen
- Monitoring and evaluation
The NZ Landcare Trust is currently preparing the training programme, and our regional coordinators from across New Zealand will have received coaching on
how to deliver the programme by the end of June 2020. Initially we will be piloting the training in New Zealand from July onwards.
We are also interested in determining if this training would be useful to catchment groups in other parts of the world. If you are interested in being involved in some international training trials with the new programme, you are welcome to contact the CEO of the NZ Landcare Trust, Nick Edgar, to register your interest. Contact Nick via email at email@example.com
EverGreening Global Alliance
The Alliance has announced they are now an ACFID Interim Full Member and signatory to the ACFID Code of Conduct. The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) is the peak Australian body for not-for-profit aid and development organisations. As a signatory, they are committed to fully adhere to the ACFID Code of Conduct, conducting all work with transparency, accountability, and integrity.
The Alliance reminds us:
Through increasing average global temperatures, less reliable seasons and increasingly frequent and extreme weather events, agriculture is already being seriously impacted by climate change.
By restoring Australian forests, farmlands and grazing lands we can accelerate carbon sequestration from the atmosphere and help store it where it should be: in vegetation and IN THE SOIL.
The shared goal of the Alliance is: IT’S TIME TO PUT CARBON BACK INTO THE SOIL
By using nature-based methods such as agroforestry and sustainable approaches to agriculture, we can help remove CO2 from the atmosphere AND build soil resilience to extreme drought. Improved soil moisture retention will also help build more resilience to fires. It is not only possible, it’s necessary.
Uganda Landcare Conference November, 2019
Australian Landcare International has a long standing relationship with the Uganda Landcare Network. You may remember that in 2019, ALI sponsored the first Uganda Landcare Conference.
Landcare in Uganda is one of the key focuses for ALI’s Overseas Landcare Program and ALI was happy to support the conference with funds but also to participate in the planning committee and assist the ULN as they prepared for the conference. ALI provided $2,000 to support Landcare Facilitators and members to attend the conference – two from Kenya and Uganda. Total conference sponsorship: $5,000AUD.
The Conference attracted approximately 250 attendees, predominantly from Uganda. Others came from Kenya, Malawi, South Africa and there was one from Australia. The participants were Landcare members, Landcare Facilitators, government officials and there were about 25 students from Kabale and Makerere Universities.
The conference report is now available click here
Coronavirus and the Illegal Wildlife Trade
Sometimes problems converge. While it is still not clear that the current coronavirus pandemic started in a wildlife market, such viruses have been found there and so the concerns of human, health scientists and environmental scientists are converging. In Australia, the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions tells us the following:
Illegal wildlife trade (IWT) is the illicit sale or exchange of biological resources, i.e., naturally harvested, alien or non-domesticated animals and plants.
• live animals and plants for the pet and ornamental trade;
• carcasses and body parts for the meat or timber trade;
• derivatives and products for the medicinal trade; and skins and miscellaneous parts for the decorative and fashion trade.
These species may be protected under either domestic or international law, but have been harvested and traded without appropriate legal permission. Each year, the IWT
• produces many thousands of tonnes of wildlife contraband, worth billions of dollars.
• is a major component of transnational environmental crime and a driver of declines in biodiversity globally.
• also generates novel biosecurity and human health risks through the transport and introduction of alien and invasive species – as well as their pathogens and diseases.
In 2019, over 1 million illegal wildlife items (live or derived products) were seized across thousands of global incidents. IWT is increasing and Australia has had more high-profile wildlife seizures in the last three years than in the previous eight years combined.
There is good evidence that rare and endangered species are of higher value in illegal trade, and that the IWT is itself a source of endangerment for thousands of species.
Through the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions, researchers at the University of Adelaide are leading a project focused on developing automated data-mining/web-scraping code to identify and characterise the illegal or unwarranted selling of alien species through e-commerce platforms (e.g., Gumtree, Facebook, enthusiast forums, lost and found websites).
Tony Rinaudo – The Forest Maker
The EverGreening Book Club is reading Tony Rinaudo’s book in June, 2020. The book will be of interest to many.
The Australian agronomist Tony Rinaudo revolutionized reforestation in Africa with Farmer-Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR). His method is based on fostering the growth of tree stumps and roots in degraded landscapes: thanks to the protection and care of the shoots, the original tree population can be regenerated without major financial costs.
The method is now successfully applied in at least 24 African countries. Where the desert was still expanding 20 years ago, farmers reforest large areas with FMNR: in Niger alone seven million hectares of land were already restored in this way. Up to 700 million people will possibly be obliged to leave their homelands during the next three decades because of increasing desertification in the landscapes where they live. In the opinion of scientists, there is only one hope: to convince the local farmers of ‘sustainable land management’. Tony Rinaudo believes that with FMNR he has found the appropriate method for such management – and just in time to stop, or even to be able to reverse the destruction of livelihoods.
For more information, go to https://www.worldvision.com.au/global-issues/work-we-do/poverty/forest-maker/.
The Global EverGreening Alliance has announced a landmark restoration program in response to the protracted drought and catastrophic bushfires to a huge crowd in a historic shearing shed in rural Victoria.
‘In a time before social distancing and a full appreciation of the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic, who would have guessed the Restore Australia program launch was the last opportunity for some face-to-face time! Fortunately, with the wonders of modern technology, we were able to facilitate a virtual face-to-face design workshop in late March across the Restore Australia consortium. This included a talented bunch of 75 participants from across 38 incredible organisations. The program is in the final stages of finalising the consortium composition to deliver the first phase of the Restore Australia program, still tracking towards implementation from June, 2020 – though operationally, what this looks like will be dependent on social distancing and other community safety measures to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved in the landscape restoration journey.’
The ‘Restore Australia’ program is a coordinated effort to restore the health and productivity of degraded farm, range and forest lands across Australia.
Ark2030, an international foundation, has formally announced a commitment to fund the first phase of program implementation. Chairman and Founder, Stephen Fern, is keen to see a unified, scalable program to protect and restore Australia’s great ecosystems. “This initial funding marks the first step in our efforts in Australia to restore our ecosystems. We are pledging an initial $250 million over the next 5 years from the Ark2030 funding program to Restore Australia; a region which is at the sharp end of the climate crisis. “ Mr Fern said.
According to Global EverGreening Alliance CEO, Chris Armitage: “With the continuing drought and recent bushfires, there has never been a more important time to restore this great country.”
You can read lots more about the Alliance on the website which is at https://www.evergreening.org/.
Landcare Victoria announces a new direction
In Australia, Landcare operates at many levels and this news is from the state organisation.
Landcare Victoria now has fantastic support from two philanthropic trusts (Rendere Trust and Upotipotpon Foundation). This has been a catalyst for the Landcare Victoria team to advertise for an inaugural CEO. A key theme in Landcare Victoria’s strategic plan is to encourage a strong, vocal and resilient Landcare movement in Victoria working with the Victorian State Government. As a grass roots organisation, the future plans are focused on bringing even greater outcomes, raising the profile of Landcare in Victoria as well as the incredible work of our Landcarers, for benefit of the broader community and the environment.
The Landcare Voices project is continuing gathering interviews with many who have contributed to Landcare over the years. To listen to the recordings, visit Landcare Voices. This is an initiative of Landcare Victoria. To see be added to the Landcare Victoria distribution list, and receive the newsletter, send an email with subject LVI NEWS SUBSCRIBE to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Climate and Other Webinar Series
Agriculture Victoria run regular webinars on topics relevant to primary producers and others working in agriculture. The range of topics that are discussed include seasonal risk and climate change projections and impacts, adaptation opportunities and innovative farming practices and soil moisture monitoring.
The webinars are free for anybody to view.
Visit the site (http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/agriculture/weather-and-climate/climate-webinars) to read about:
• Upcoming webinars
• Previous webinars
• About the webinars and how to join one
To receive notification when the latest climate series is published, visit https://confirmsubscription.com/h/r/21B78619269BA25F2540EF23F30FEDED