NACC NRM and our project partners, Tierra Australia, are pleased to have established the Chapman Catchment – Collaborative Landscape Scale Regeneration project with co-contributions from eight champion landholders in the catchment and supported by funding from the Western Australian Government’s State NRM Program. From this cohort, six sites will be developed as demonstration sites, and the lessons learnt, as a result, will be shared more broadly.
The Chapman Catchment is a long-established, well managed, and highly productive dryland farming area (crops and pastures) that also incorporates some intensive diversification activities. This catchment presents a unique opportunity to demonstrate a broad range of regenerative practices across varying properties. Together, these properties will showcase the potential for ‘catchment scale’ agricultural systems change and landscape regeneration.
This project aims to demonstrate a range of practices that can increase farm productivity and profit while also protecting the landscapes natural assets. The activities achieved in this project will set the foundations for a long-term objective of landscape scale regeneration within the catchment, established in partnership with landholders. This project supports landholders to engage with the concepts of regenerative agriculture and sustainable farming, assess their environmental footprint, and take action.
This foundational project focuses on establishing ‘demonstration’ properties that represent functional components of the whole catchment. Mapping out a farm transition plan for these key farms will support landholders to evolve their existing practices based on sustainable and regenerative agriculture principles. The project aims to demonstrate a range of techniques supporting on-farm production whilst protecting and enhancing natural assets.
This project will demonstrate a path forward. For farmers, this is an opportunity to test and evaluate innovative practices that can address their challenges. For the general population and other industries which rely on the health of ecosystems and our natural assets, this project will demonstrate that our local farmers can address issues that the broader community is concerned about.
Stage one in the project’s scope is to complete farm management plans across the participating properties. These plans will focus on surface hydrology for landscape rehydration, restoring wetlands to improve water quality, remediation of local-scale problems, increasing on-farm biodiversity and creating opportunities for community participation. This will be done with landholders to prioritise on-ground works that support the conservation of natural resources. Farm plans will incorporate long-term transition pathways for on-farm practice change, directly linked to the triple bottom line, reinvigorating the social license of landholders, and operating sustainable agricultural enterprise.
Stage two will see the implementation of on-ground works that are high priority within each property. These works will be undertaken largely by landholders, with incentives available to landholders for revegetation works. At this stage of the project, the practical outcomes delivered with landholders will be used to promote and inform the broader community through participation, training and practical demonstration events.
Stage three of the project will be communicating these outcomes, striving for farming system change in the broader catchment. This is expected to continue beyond the life of this three-year project. With effective promotion and opportunity for landholder training, the project outcomes can then be extended to other catchments where landholders and grower groups are driven to participate.
This project is supported by funding from the Western Australian Government’s State NRM Program.