SWCC had difficulties in determining the values and future direction on its investment in biodiversity conservation projects and how they linked with their agreed NRM Targets.
Ecosystem Solutions developed a systematic, logical and strategic approach to approach to the prioritisation of biodiversity assets and processes that threaten them, to enable defendable and transparent investment decision to be made across the whole of the SWCC region. This included the development of an Investment Decision Support System (IDSS) utilising GIS technology to assist in both project and programme planning for the regional organisation.
SWCC have a defendable, scientifically rigorous, yet practical and user friendly strategic approach and IDSS to enable them to plan and deliver sound nature conservation projects within their region
The Shire of Busselton (now the City of Busselton) is located within a globally diverse biodiversity “hotspot”. They have 77 bushland reserves with varying biodiversity values and threats and a limited supply of resources to manage them. They needed to know the detailed biodiversity values of each reserve and develop a prioritisation process to enable them to get the best conservation return from their resources.
Ecosystem Solutions were contracted to survey the City of Busselton’s Reserves for their ecological values (rare, threatened or significant flora/fauna, ecosystems) and threats to those values. These were all field assessed and mapped using mobile GIS technology. We were then contracted to develop a prioritisation process and program and develop a Natural Area Management Action plan for more than 2,000 ha of native vegetation areas within the shire.
The Shire has detailed and spatially relevant information on all of their bushland reserves identified for conservation. This enables them to make annual works planning decisions on what needs to be done and where will it provide the most effective return for conservation.
They have begun integrating the spatial data and field data sheets into their internal planning process, utilising it in their annual works planning and budgeting processes and have been successful in securing additional grant funding by using the plans
The most effective way to increase our communities resilience and understanding of bushfire risk is to ensure that new settlements and areas of growth are directed to locations with a lower bushfire risk and ensure that people are aware of the risks and what they, as landowners, can do to minimise them.
As part of the development process, the developers need to ensure that all of the lots within their development provide the necessary requirements to minimise the potential impact from wild fire events and allow safe access for fire fighters to control any fire within that lot.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services has standardised the approach and necessary areas to mitigate and minimise risk from fire events. Each local government has its own requirements for fire management and protection within developments within their boundary.
We closely liaise with the various local governments and the DFES to ensure that the developments not only meet the minimal requirements for safety and protection, but that all parties, including potential purchasers of the lots are aware of any potential risks and the measures to minimise that risk.
Our plans are approved by DFES and the local governments. This means that landowners that purchase properties within these development will obtain a copy of the Fire Management Plan, which is written in plain English and with clear directions for minimising fire risk. This ensures that landowners can live within their lots knowing that their buildings and land meets the best standards for safety while preserving their natural environment.