Although the real power of the Landcare movement lies within the community, its success is not without immense support from local, state and federal governments.
Besides managing its own land estate responsibly (which includes some national parks, other conservation reserves and defence land), the Australian Government provides national leadership and coordination in:
developing long-term strategies to address resource issues at all levels
providing funding programs and social support networks to achieve goals
leading and funding research and development
increasing public awareness, education and information exchange
identifying gaps in knowledge
The Australian Government has delineated 56 catchment regions covering all Australia, and fosters community based regional natural resource management bodies in each to prepare and implement integrated resource management plans and regularly define and review priorities. Many Landcare members serve on these regional bodies.
Currently federal and state governments determine their investment to achieve defined outcomes in each area and gauge program delivery through detailed single regional plans developed by the local community and based on the best available knowledge. Landcare and other community groups are essential to this model, providing communication links, experience, opinion, planning support and cost-effective programs for on-ground works.
These plans take a ‘whole-of-region approach to resource management, incorporating environmental, social and economic elements. Agreements between government and community define goals and contributions from all parties, identify and schedule targets and delineate appropriate investment strategies. Consultation, feedback and negotiation are crucial between regional bodies and key stakeholders, including Indigenous people, academics and scientists, environmental groups, industry, local government and state/territory, national agencies and the community.
Landcare Australia Limited is funded to provide key services such as the National Landcare Directory, Landcare publications, Landcare Awards and Landcare Week activities and promotion.