Lismore City Council is celebrating World Nature Conservation Day and National Tree Day this week to highlight the importance of protecting and conserving our local environment and our unique biodiversity.
Public consultations for Council’s Imagine Lismore Community Strategic Plan found the community wants Council to take a lead on protecting our environment.
Lismore City Council’s Environmental Strategies Coordinator Leonie Walsh said protecting our unique biodiversity will have a positive impact on our local environment.
“Many of us live in Lismore and its villages because we love its natural beauty. It is only right that people want to protect and enhance that,” she said.
“This is why Council adopted the Biodiversity Management Strategy which identifies the most important natural values of the area, the things that might threaten them and how we manage those threats.
“The most important advantage we have in achieving these goals is close partnerships with rural landowners and rural industry groups, volunteer groups such as Landcare and Friends of the Koala, as well as other councils and state agencies.
“Together, we are able to deliver many positive outcomes for our local environment.”
This year, Council’s Environmental Strategies team, funded under the Special Biodiversity Rate Variation, has had to refocus some of its work due to COVID-19.
Environmental Strategies Team member Kate Steel said both Council and rural landholders have still managed to achieve results despite the current challenges.
“Since 2015, we have been delivering about five field days per year for Rural landholders to share ideas and experiences in how to better manage land and improve biodiversity and livelihoods,” she said.
“We have managed to deliver two outdoor community events since COVID-19, including a field walk last week at Rocky Creek Dam to promote off-stream watering infrastructure.
“Our groundwork has continued in other ways like helping with bushland restoration, habitat improvement and undertaking riverbank repair to improve water quality entering our rivers.”
The Rural Landholder Initiative small grants program was able to fund rural property projects such as planting 800 trees to improve water quality entering the Wilsons River, control erosion, hold water in the paddocks and reduce drying winds, and provide habitat for local fauna.
Another project has restored 2.5 hectares of native rainforest along a creek by removing weeds and planting 280 endemic species to stop erosion.
Further achievements of the Biodiversity Management Strategy are the Koala conservation projects to restore habitat and reduce koala deaths and injuries on the roads.