From the Chair’s desk…
Thank you to everyone for your support over the past year. And now that we have completed our 2019 AGM I’m pleased to announce our new team:
- Chair Andrea Mason
- Vice Chair Rob Youl
- Treasurer Phil Horner
- Secretary Belinda Brennan
- Ordinary Board members (x5)
I’d like to thank Megan Rowlatt and Sandra McPhee for their contributions to ALI and wish them well in the future.
At the AGM we were proud to present our Annual Report for 2018/2019. I encourage you to read this and enjoy our successes for the past year.I am looking forward to working harder towards Global Landcare in the coming year.
Thank you to Tony Rinaudo AM for speaking at our AGM. Tony is the recipient of the 2018 Right Livelihood Award Laureate and recognised by the Jury “for demonstrating on a large scale how drylands can be greened at minimal cost, improving the livelihoods of millions of people”. Tony spoke on Restoration of land 4 Restoration of Hope and Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration.
thanks again to everyone, Andrea Mason.
And here is the latest news from our team.
From the Committee..
The ALI Committee is thrilled for all involved in Landcare that the work of ALI was recognised at the recent Landcare Awards in Victoria. Now the work will move forward for Australia-wide competition in which ALI will represent Victoria in the partnerships category. ALI sees this as representing all those who work in partnership with ALI. Good luck everyone in ALI!
The Committee maintains the administrative systems of ALI as actively as it supports the work of ALI. New partnerships, funding opportunities, stories of achievements are shared via our various media, including this newsletter. The Committee is always interested in formal reports but also welcomes ‘good stories’ and ideas. Everyone is invited to contribute these to ALI for this newsletter.
Behind the scenes, checking that the constitution is up-to-date with government requirements and fit for purpose can be a major task. In 2019, a number of revisions have been considered and the new Constitution was adopted at the AGM. Some of these simply update the constitution but others change the way ALI operates, always in the interest of better performance.
Vale Professor Michael Seigel
Professor Michael Seigel was born in Wonthaggi, Victoria, in 1947. He was working at Nanzan University, Nagoya, Japan.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, on leave in the Riverina, he noticed and appreciated how Landcare’s advent had encouraged very effective community action on salinity westwards from Barooga to Deniliquin.
In industrial and post-industrial Japan, many rural communities were dying. The post-war generation had largely migrated, leaving their elders to continue traditional smallholder farming. Empty, disintegrating farmhouses proliferated; numerous black, weedy squares across verdant checkerboards of rice, vegetable and fruit crops indicated family plots more or less uncultivated since the exodus to cities started sixty years ago.
Read more about the wonderful contribution to Landcare and to a number of his other interests, Professor Seigal was able to make before his untimely death. See the full obituary for Michael Seigel written by Rob Youl and Michael’s family.
What is the potential for international Landcare?
At the September meeting of ALI, RMIT University Research Fellow Dr Mary Johnson and RMCG Senior Consultant Clinton Muller presented progress in a new international project.
The Australian Landcare model is global, having been adapted in over 20 countries worldwide, but what exactly does Landcare look like in these countries? This is the question that has been explored by a small research project, funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), to investigate the potential of international Landcare.
Led by the presenters,
the applied research project has been investigating the lessons and common factors for success based on the different modalities of Landcare in countries where the Landcare approach has been introduced. The study has investigated the Landcare process in six different country contexts, including Fiji, Indonesia, Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Uganda.
We look forward to the final report of what has already shown that the collaboration across the many countries involved can make a substantial difference to people’s lives and the well-being of the environment.
The INSPIRE EARLY Project supported by Australian Landcare International
From the Report to ALI ..
Kabale Agro forestry Network (KAN) is a Not-for-Profit Community Based Organization (CBO) established in May 2013 following the African Master Tree Growers (AMTG) training course held in Kabale, S.W.Uganda. … The purpose of Kabale Agro forestry Network is to assist land holders and users to plan, design and implement the integration of multi-purpose trees into farming systems to support environmental management of degraded landscapes of the Kigezi Highlands and for optimum benefits.
The specific objectives of INSPIRE project were:
- To support 2 Primary Schools start junior landcare activities
- To improve food security and nutrition in 2 primary Schools.
- To increase environmental awareness in 12 junior landcare schools in the project area.
Hornby High School Junior was supported by KAN to fence a school garden and provided fruit and tree seedlings for planting in the compound and school boundaries. The trees included guavas(50), Grevellia (100), and Alnus(50) that are now growing well. The school also planted beans, cabbages, carrots spinach, and potatoes in the school garden. They also planted bananas in the empty spaces in the compound earlier occupied only by flowers. The beans, spinach, and cabbages are now ready for harvesting and are supplementing the menu of the pupils and have improved their nutrition. Junior Landcare activities have been mainstreamed in the school music, dance and drama and in the entire curriculum.
Buhumba Primary School is a mixed school located on a hill overlooking Lake Bunyonyi, one of the 2nd deepest lakes in Africa. The school was selected because it lacks protection from the strong wind breeze coming from the beautiful lake but also the scorching sun during the dry season. The school has a large compound with hardly any shade tree and has a chunk of barren land that could be utilized for growing food and trees. The pupils carry packed lunch from their homes although some stay on a hungry stomach! Previous efforts to start a school feeding programme failed because the parents would not sustain it. This provides a strong case for the school to grow their own food and resume meals served at school.
The school has been able to gazette 0.5 acres of land for a school garden which has been fenced. KAN has also supported the school to prepare a nursery for raising vegetable seedlings and have provided an assortment of vegetable seeds. During the last rains KAN provided the school with 100 grevellia tree seedlings which have been planted in the bare compound to provide shade. Some 50 guava fruit trees were also planted around the school compound and are doing well.
The wide school compound is expected to continue to be planted with shade trees in the September rains to create comfort zones for the pupils and teachers. Bananas and beans will also be introduced in the open spaces in front of the classrooms to take advantage of the rain -water from the wide roofs.
KAN has continued to provide guidance to the 12 partner schools under junior landcare. During the INSPIRE period KAN visited 3 schools and interacted with both teachers and pupils addressing issues of the environment. At St Paul’s Muchahi Primary School KAN mentors facilitated construction of an improved fuel-saving cookstove with pupils actively involved in the construction. A question and answer session was later held with the pupils and teachers to review the benefits of improved cook stoves emphasizing the dangers of smoke infected kitchens.
KAN has an ambitious target to reach 25 schools by 2025 which we shall continue to pursue. KAN is grateful to ALI for the INSPIRE EARLY grant and for their previous support to community landcare work. We remain greatly endeared to you by this support and look forward to continue this partnership.
(From report written by Jimmy Musiime)
I care, we care, Landcare!
“I care, we care, Landcare” is an excellent slogan! Children around the world are showing they care – as did these young people at the recent Victorian Government Landcare Awards Ceremony. See the video of others who also said they care.
The solution to climate change is vegetation. It’s the air conditioning of our planet, and it eats carbon for breakfast. Through simple nature-based solutions we can capture a whopping 20 billion tons of CO2 annually. This means that we can reverse climate change within 30 years. Let’s Green Up to Cool Down. Check out their fantastic video
Photographic exhibition shows a greener, brighter future in a developed environment
A photographic exhibition at the Lerderderg Library, Victoria, in September 2019 showcased the biodiversity of the region and the positive impact of community environmental action. Grow West: A Greener, Brighter Future celebrates 15 years of the Grow West program, which has worked with 48 landholders and 2,800 volunteers to undertake one of Victoria’s largest revegetation projects. Grow West’s vision is to rejuvenate 10,000 hectares of land by creating nature links between the Brisbane Ranges National Park, Lerderderg Gorge State Park and Werribee Gorge State Park. Over the last 15 years, Grow West has planted 1.3 million trees across 2,500 hectares, providing a space for native plants and animals to live alongside thriving local communities.
The exhibition included before and after photos, which show how the landscape has improved between the 1970s and today.
A Dairy Development Officer for Tonga?
Tupou College is Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga Boys low-fee paying boarding school whose purpose is the Secondary education of more than 900 boys. There is also a small Primary school on the campus and a large farm to supply foodstuffs for the boys and to provide a vital source of supplementary income. The Campus forms its own village community, Toloa.
The vision of the College is to develop students who are able to recognise their full potential and gain the confidence to embrace life and are encouraged with a love of learning.
The College is served by a large farm that incorporates:
- dairy production (the only functioning dairy in Tonga)
- food crops
- beef, sheep, pig husbandry
This farm is vital for the sustainability of the programs of the school both in terms of supporting food supplies but critically providing a significant supplementary source of income to allow the school to continue to do its educational and formational work of more than 850 boys.
The Australian Volunteers Program is looking for someone with expertise in dairy development and in particular, increasing milk production, as the dairy has the capacity to significantly serve the island. The position is for 12 months.
If you or someone you know might be interested, please read more at AD-Dairy Development Officer.
To see more about Tupou College and its relationship with Australia, see the Tupou/Newington Blog at https://blogs.newington.nsw.edu.au/tupou/