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Public forum: Alps to Atherton and Kosciuszko to Coast Initiatives

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Queanbeyan Landcare invites the community of Queanbeyan and surrounding districts to a Public Forum on initiatives to help protect Australian East Coast biodiversity in the face of rapid climate change.

The Alps to Atherton (A2A) and Beyond Initiative aims to establish connections between ecosystems all the way from the Victorian Alps to the Atherton Tablelands and beyond to Cape York on both public and private lands. More locally, a project is underway to establish such connections from Kosciuszko to the Coast (K2C) as part of A2A. K2C covers a broad sweep of country from the Snowy Mountains and Great Dividing Range to the coast and includes both Queanbeyan and Palerang Council areas as well as the ACT.

The speakers are to be Dr Ian Pulsford from the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change on A2A, and Lauren Van Dyke, the K2C Facilitator. The Forum is scheduled for Tuesday 11 September 2007 at 7.30 pm in Queanbeyan City Council’s new community centre at 262 Crawford Street, Queanbeyan, opposite the Council Offices. Invitations have been extended to local aboriginal groups, adjacent Landcare groups and both Palerang and Queanbeyan Councillors. Light refreshments will be available.

A2A is a bold step
The ‘Alps to Atherton’ and Beyond Initiative is a bold step in strengthening the resilience of Australia’s natural assets to climate change and threatening processes in a mega-region encompassing globally significant biodiversity, and catchments critical to eastern Australia’s water supplies. It provides a vision for people, communities, agencies and governments using the best available science, practical community knowledge and stewardship to conserve and restore connections between landscapes, ecosystems and people for more than 2,800km along Australia’s great eastern ranges.

These lands include many unfragmented and interconnected habitats that provide clean water and fresh air derived from intact natural ecosystems, vital for the well being of all Australians. A2A contains spiritual places and “Country” that include song lines, ancient traditional pathways, trade routes, resources and relics that are highly significant for many Aboriginal People. A2A also contains rich tapestry of post-settlement cultural heritage values and sites and landscapes that are significant to all Australians and are an important part of the “Australian story”.

Government cannot achieve the A2A vision alone. Considerable enthusiasm, expertise and action are available in a wide range of organisations, including agencies, catchment management authorities, local government, community and private organisations. There are many synergies between the objectives and operations of these organisations and the A2A Initiative.

A2A: partnerships and new opportunities
This Initiative seeks to acknowledge and engage these organisations in partnerships for the delivery of the program and to allow these organisations to retain ownership. In doing so, it is recognised that the activities of these organisations are part of other programs and partnerships that have already been established and are already protecting, covenanting, restoring, studying, facilitating, planning and educating. The A2A Initiative provides a significant new opportunity for local and regional programs to retain their integrity and gain additional benefit in being identified as contributing to achieving a conservation corridor outcome at the continental scale. It will also allow these programs in future to better argue for funds and participants if they are linked to this visionary project.

For more information, contact Queanbeyan Landcare Publicity Officer, Tom Baker, on 6297 4920.

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