Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

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Case Study: Wilderness Society Victoria

ProjectGrowing the Central Victoria Biolinks

Amount$80,000 over two years


ProgramPast Programs | Environment

This grant was approved under our previous grants policy
Rural and Regional Victoria Build a network of landcare and conservation groups across Central Victoria from the Grampians to the Alps.
Building capacity Coordinate and service more than 100 independent environmental groups to facilitate large-scale environmental projects.
Collaboration and partnership Partnerships include the Wilderness Society, Victorian National Parks Association, Trust for Nature, Bendigo & District Environmental Council, Bush Heritage Australia, Birds Australia and CSIRO.

The power of numbers leads to a whole-of-landscape approach.

‘Growing the Central Victoria Biolinks’ is an initiative based on broad sector collaboration and aimed at restoring biodiversity and ecological health of Victorian landscapes. The Wilderness Society, a community-based organisation whose focus includes landscape scale projects in Victoria, has partnered with the Victorian National Parks Association and Trust for Nature (as the Victoria Naturally Alliance) to develop and manage projects which no single non-government organisation could achieve on its own. At the local level, 10 networks covering 75 landcare groups are working to restore the environment while sharing information and learning.

A loss of biodiversity and ecosystem health prompted the creation of the Central Victorian Biolinks project, a long-term initiative that brings together and supports many landcare and conservation management networks stretching from the Grampians to the Alps.

Central Victoria is a high priority landscape but, when the region was not granted Commonwealth Biolinks funding, the Trust was approached to extend its June 2012 pilot grant so the project’s momentum could be maintained.

The project supports people and networks to collaborate through vision, goal building, science and planning, along with the development of an information and support hub to facilitate peer-to-peer learning and implementation on the ground.

A whole-of-landscape approach is needed to rebuild well-connected and functioning landscapes, including linking protected areas with areas of remnant habitat.

Project aims

These included:

  • Continue development with Melbourne Ark member networks, a biolink project from Moorabool  to the Strathbogies
  • Continue building the Victoria Naturally Alliance and partnerships
  • Develop the knowledge base and deliver priority activities
  • Further develop and implement the communications and fundraising plan.

“The Trust’s funding has enabled us to survive and we’re underway in three regional landscape projects,” says Victorian National Parks Association’s Team Leader, Karen Alexander.

Melbourne Ark’s six landcare and conservation management networks are mapping biolinks, while the Goldfields are connecting current projects and expanding resources. Project Platypus and partners are working from the Grampians to the Pyrenees on a pilot climate change planning process.

A major up-scaling of effort is being planned with project partners.