Media release

Letter to the Editor (Weekly Times)

Land and Biodiversity White Paper Proposal

Release: August 2006

The recent release of the Victorian Government’s Sustainability Action Statement received a lot of media coverage about plastic bags and windfarms but little discussion about a major initiative to improve the health of our land and protect  biodiversity. 

The Environmental farmers Network regards the proposal to develop a Land Health and Biodiversity White paper as a wonderful opportunity to highlight the contribution that well managed farms make to the health of the ecosystems that produce clean water and air for all the community.

We can see what the Water White Paper has done to bring to the fore important issues about securing our water future and we need similar concentration on the health of our land and biodiversity.

Farmers that incorporate biodiversity into their agricultural systems can both increase agricultural production and be rewarded for adding to the quality of our ecosystems.  Programs like Bush tender will enable us to do practical things like manage rabbits and weeds on patches of remnant native vegetation on our farms.  A day with a backpack spray and rabbit control tools will not only protect our land but it will enhance biodiversity and generate another income stream.

We might be able to plant trees which not only stop salt entering the landscape but also fix carbon and help to offset climate change.

The Weekly Times could play an important part in the public debate about land health and biodiversity, helping to clearly explain all the complex issues.   By bringing the good news stories about landholders who have made biodiversity pay up to the front of the paper we can see what we can do to be part of the solution to the challenges of climate change and land degradation.

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