Updating NARvis: the latest news on the community consultation process

Interested in an update on the results of an online survey with over 100 local NRM practitioners and learning more about opportunities to participate in the first round of stakeholder consultation workshops taking place around the region in September?

In July 2020, 101 natural resource management (NRM) practitioners from the Northern Agricultural Region (NAR) participated in an online survey on regional NRM planning. The purpose of the online survey was to 1) introduce the current round of regional NRM planning, 2) understand if and how people are using the NARvis (the current regional NRM strategy), 3) start discussing what the regional NRM plan should deliver, and 4) identify how stakeholders prefer to input into the plan.

The survey was sent to 215 natural resource management practitioners across the regions, representing 122 different organisations and groups. We received a total of 101 responses from people representing 65 different organisations, a nearly 50% response rate! The majority of responses came from NGOs, community based organisations, and community environmental groups in the region, and we also had a great response from Local Government Authorities in the region (10 of 15 Shires) and a 60% response rate from practitioners representing Aboriginal corporations and Traditional Owner groups. Almost 90% of responses came from people living in the NAR, with just over a third of respondents living within the City of Greater Geraldton.

Biodiversity conservation was the primary focus of 45% of respondents’ organisations or groups, followed by agriculture (16%), community development (15%), and local service delivery (15%). This was reflected in answers to open-ended questions about respondents’ environmental concerns and the kinds of projects they are planning to promote sustainability in the region. Half of all respondents listed environmental concerns related to biodiversity conservation, including the preservation of native flora and fauna species, biodiversity loss, habitat fragmentation, and the need for rehabilitation of degraded areas. Nearly 80% indicated that they were planning to implement biodiversity conservation projects in the next 5 years.

Sustainable agriculture was also a top priority for respondents with 40% highlighting environmental concerns related to farming including soil erosion, salinity, and concerns about land clearing. Around 20% or respondents told us that they are planning to implement community engagement and sustainable agriculture projects in the next 5 years.

We learned that 42% of respondents have accessed and used NARvis before, primarily out of general interest but also to inform project proposals and strategic plans and to share or promote their projects. Stakeholders in NRM in the region expressed a strong interest in Traditional Owner engagement in NRM, conservation of terrestrial, marine, and coastal biodiversity, managing biosecurity risks and invasive species, and responding to climate change, all of which will be covered in the revised regional NRM strategy.  Respondents also indicated that the regional NRM strategy is an important resource for project planning and for prioritising NRM investment and suggested that the revised strategy should draw on existing resources to provide this service.  

Finally, survey respondents indicated that a combination of local, regional, and online workshops, along with online surveys, would be the most convenient way for them to engage in regional NRM planning in the NAR. Based on this feedback, we have planned our first round of community consultation workshops in September. The workshops will take place at three locations around the region, as well as online, and will focus on making sure that NARvis is a useful resource for the community. The workshops are also an opportunity for you to share your priorities for NRM in the NAR, and ensure they are included in the regional strategy.

For a closer look at the survey results click here.

To register to attend one of the stakeholder consultation workshops, follow the appropriate link below or check out the invitation on our Events Page.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our NARvis Project Officer Amanda Bourne (E) [email protected] (P) 08 9938 0100

Geraldton

3 September 2020, 9am – 3pm

Geraldton Multipurpose Centre Function Room, 250 Marine Terrace

Click here to book

Perenjori 

9 September 2020, 9am – 3pm

NACC NRM Office, Cnr Fowler Street and Timmings Street

Click here to book

Jurien Bay

10 September 2020, 9am – 3pm

Jurien Bay Education and Conference Centre, 69 Bashford Street

Click here to book

Online

24 September 2020, 10am – 1pm

Via Zoom

Click here to book

Amanda Bourne – NARvis Project Officer

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