Are you a private landholder in the Northern Agricultural Region, who manages a property that has a permanent conservation covenant on the title?
If yes, you are invited to participate in a nationwide landholder survey conducted by a team of researchers from Monash University’s School of Biological Sciences.
The aim of the study is to determine the benefits and limitations of current programs for conserving biodiversity on private lands, with a particular focus on permanent conservation covenants.
Dr Carly Cook, the lead researcher at Monash University said, “Australia is renowned for its unique and diverse wildlife and ecological communities, yet it also has one of the highest rates of wildlife extinction in the world.”
The majority of Australia’s land is privately owned, which puts landholders in a position to substantially influence native plant and animal conservation and the viability of ecosystem services.
Conservation covenanting is a commonly used mechanism to permanently protect biodiversity on private lands.
A conservation covenant is: “a voluntary agreement made between a landholder and an authorised body that aims to protect and enhance the natural, cultural and/or scientific values of certain land.”
Landholders continue to own, use and live on their land while conserving its natural values. This type of covenant may also be called a conservation agreement, heritage agreement, or nature refuge.
But how effective are conservation covenants at protecting Australia’s biodiversity? How are covenanted landholders supported in their efforts towards land management and conservation?
This study will explore these questions in an attempt to better understand the social and ecological contributions of conservation covenanting in Australia. It will look on how the social interactions among people involved in developing and implementing covenants influence the activities that take place on covenanted properties.
By participating in this survey – your views and experiences – will help develop recommendations about how conservation actions on private land can be improved and how to ensure conservation programs benefit both landholders and the environment.
Information collected will be stored in accordance with Monash University regulations and kept as confidential in the University premises.
Results from the study will be published as thesis chapters, journal articles, technical reports, presented at conferences, and available online at www.connectandconserve.com. Participants will have an opportunity to access copies of these documents when they are available online.
To complete this 30 minutes survey, go to the Monash University website.