The landholder collab team were hosted by Watershed Landcare for a talk at the Mudgee Small Farm Field Days on Friday July 15th. The talk was lead by Alex Baumber, Project Manager for the landholdee collaboration project based at UNSW, and Harriet Pfieffer, our masters student at Sydney Uni looking at different models for successful collaboration from around the world.
Alex gave a bit of an introduction to the project and highlighted his own experiences working with landholder groups on collaborative ventures. This included the Barrier Ranges Sustainable Wildlife Enterprise Trial, in which a group of landholders north of Broken Hill teamed up to manage the harvest of kangaroos across multiple properties between 2006 and 2009. He also spoke about the Lachlan Renewable Energy Alliance, who were heavily involved in investigating the potential for mallee eucalypts to be a viable energy crop around Condobolin around 2010.
Harriet cited some interesting overseas examples of collaboration from her research, including Gran Alpin in Switzerland and the Wechiau Community Hippo Sanctuary in Ghana. Gran Alpin is a mountain farmer cooperative in Switzerland that responded to declining state support for agriculture by developing a strong marketing strategy tied to values of local identity, the uniqueness of the region’s agro-ecosystems and cultural heritage. The Wehiau sanctuary provides a great example of Community-based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM). Overall, Harriet’s key message was that collaboration models have tended to be most successful when grounded in local contexts, have adopted appropriate participatory governance structures, have facilitated stakeholder education and have undertaken a multidisciplinary approach in an attempt to achieve both environmental and production outcomes.
As for the rest of field days, the sun was shining for the first time in years and there was a great buzz around the place. Check out some of the highlights courtesy of The Land