Since February 2018, a diverse array of community groups, Traditional Owners, government and non-government partners from across the Marine and Coastal geographic area have participated in Biodiversity Response Planning. Their key task was to recommend a package of projects to DELWP for funding and refer additional recommended projects to an Independent Assessment Panel for state-wide consideration. This was completed in June 2018.
Four projects worth $1.113 million to deliver Marine Environments Targeted Action over three years and one coastal project worth $590,000 over three years have been announced for action across the Marine and Coastal area to secure Victoria’s biodiversity. These projects will be delivered over three years by various government and non-government stakeholders and will directly contribute to the targets of Biodiversity 2037, under the goal ‘Victoria's natural environment is healthy’.
Projects announced for funding in this region are identified in the list below.
|App ID||Project||Funding||Project Lead / Delivery Partners||Project summary|
|BRPM001||On-Country Marine and Coastal Program: Reducing Threats to Totemic Sea Birds on Gunai Kurnai Country.||$249,500||Gunai Kurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation|
Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations
|This project will result in reduction of critical threats to sea birds, to enhance biodiversity over 354 km2 of the RAMSAR listed Gippsland Lakes marine ecosystem. Management actions will particularly improve species resilience for the Pelican and the Musk Duck, totemic species for Gunai Kurnai people.|
|BRPM002||Restoring marine habitat and biodiversity in Eastern Victoria||$200,000||Victorian Fisheries Authority|
Eastern Zone Abalone Industry Assocation (EZAIA)
|Project will restore temperate reef habitat and biodiversity by reducing sea urchin encroachment and barrens in Eastern Victoria. Eradication of urchins is needed to help recover the reef kelp canopy and algal understory that provides a protective habitat and source of food for diverse assemblages of fish and crustaceans.|
|BRPM003||Optimal management of overabundant sea urchins in Victoria||$620,000||National Centre for Coasts and Climate, University Of Melbourne|
|Project will fill key knowledge gaps in our understanding of urchin biology, assist in the revegetation of barren reefs in marine protected areas by the removal of overabundant urchins from 32.5 hectares of reef, and develop an urchin management plan to assist targeting of future on-ground action.|
|BRPM010||Reducing pollution from marine environment users to reduce marine waste and marine mammal entanglements||$44,100||Phillip Island Nature Parks|
South East Trawl Fisheries Association
|Marine plastics threaten the socio-economic values of Bass Strait, contribute to the death of marine life, degrade habitat and present a public health hazard via bioaccumulated human ingestion. This project implements practical immediate solutions such as providing bins to|
commercial fishing vessels in return for a commitment to disposal practices.
|BRP012||Victorian coastal wetland restoration||$590,000||Deakin University |
Wadawurrung, Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation
University of New South Wales, Water Research Laboratory
Corangamite Catchment Management Authority
West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority
The Nature Conservancy
South Gippsland Conservation Society
HSBC Bank Australia
Earthwatch Institute Australia
Tasman Environmental Markets
NSW Department of Primary Industries - Fisheries
|Guide and undertake restoration of over 600 hectares of critical wetland habitat on private and public land (including RAMSAR sites and places of Aboriginal cultural heritage significance), thereby facilitating recovery of some of Victoria’s most endangered birds, frogs and other threatened plants and animals.|
The process for prioritising actions in the marine and coastal area differs slightly from the other geographic areas which used the Strategic Management Prospects tool together with other relevant information to identify priority landscapes. The marine and coastal Working Group instead engaged stakeholders to develop projects that most cost-effectively deliver improved biodiversity outcomes within the whole marine and coastal area shown below. This process reflects that not all marine and coastal landscape threats and cost-effective actions are currently incorporated into the Strategic Management Prospects tool, as well as the types of projects that can be funded through the Marine Environment Targeted Action Initiative.
The project criteria for the marine and coastal area are necessarily different to the other primarily terrestrial areas to capture the differences in environment not yet incorporated into Strategic Management Prospects tool. These criteria were developed to be consistent with Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037 Biodiversity and the Biodiversity Response Planning criteria.
The criteria for assessing proposed projects can be found in the document below:
The Working Group then assessed project proposals and recommended an area-based package for funding, working within indicative area-based funding allocations. Working Groups also recommended additional projects for funding from a competitive pool, which were subsequently assessed by an independent panel. All projects to be funded from these processes are listed above.
The working group was chaired by the Area Lead - DELWP
The group was supported by a Partnership Facilitator - DELWP
The working group members were:
- DELWP – Forest, Fire and Regions
- DELWP – Marine Biodiversity Policy and Programs
- DELWP – Coastcare
- DELWP – Wetland Management
- Parks Victoria
- Victoria Fisheries Authority
- Friends of Beware Reef
- Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation
- Victorian Coastal Council
- The Nature Conservancy
An evaluation of this first phase of Biodiversity Response Planning has commenced, led by an independent evaluation expert. The evaluation will be an opportunity for participants to have their say on what has worked well and what has not. Outcomes from the evaluation will be used to make improvements to delivery of Biodiversity Response Planning in 2019 and beyond. Further information about the evaluation is available at Biodiversity Response Planning.
For further information, contact the DELWP Customer Service Centre on 136 186 to be directed to your area lead, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.