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APEN 2001 International Conference

Toowoomba, 4th-5th October 2001

Report No:


Title of Topic:

Getting Serious about Supporting the Stewardship Role of Land Managers

Name of Leader:

Joanne Millar

Names of Participants:

Laurie Capill, Craig Middleton, Peter Stephens, Tina Ball, Roger Thomson, John ? (QFVGA)

Main points of discussion

  • Farmers on the whole respond to a profit driven motive or incentives to provide stewardship services (i.e. what’s in it for me? Why should I foot the bill for public good?)
  • There is a need to understand farmer’s value systems and what motivates them before considering their capacity to provide stewardship role
  • There is a need to provide currency for ecosystems services (i.e. quantify what they are worth and how much producers should be paid)
  • There has been some research on stewardship ethic and practices in Australia (eg Charles Sturt University/ University of New England) and the USA (eg forestry stewardship and conservation schemes)

Major outcomes (what have you achieved from this discussion; how can this make a difference; what else do you need to do?)

  • There is a need to develop more systems that recognise and reward existing good stewardship (eg land for wildlife/landcare/bush tender trial) AS WELL AS systems which encourage better stewardship (eg extension, industry codes of practice, EMS through industry, payment for managing endangered ecosystems etc).
  • Question is how to develop a fair system for payment of ecosystem services which complements extension programs or where extension is a component. How should payments be distributed equitably and what criteria should be used? Should it be delivered through industry organizations, government or community groups such as ICM, regional strategy groups etc.
  • Where will the funding come from given economic and political imperatives in allocating resources (eg a national environmental levy as proposed by ACF and NFF?)
  • There is a potential role for extension agents to advise and lobby policy makers to make stewardship payments a reality rather than just talk. Could also be a role for extension in assisting landholders to submit applications or in assessing applications and administering schemes?

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