Two recent NQ Dry Tropics workshops in Townsville and Bowen brought together knowledgeable local natural resource managers to discuss the best way to protect biodiversity in the Burdekin Dry Tropics region. The workshops are part of NQ Dry Tropics’ roll out of the Conservation Action Planning (CAP) framework, which is an internationally-recognised best-practice process for planning and prioritising conservation projects.

NQ Dry Tropics CEO, Dr Scott Crawford, said that as part of the CAP process, the Burdekin Dry Tropics region had been divided into three  zones, according to their dominant land uses, and biodiversity assets.  These are: Zone 1 – Coastal Plains and Adjacent Ranges, Zone 2 –  Upper Burdekin Rangelands, and Zone 3 – Belyando Suttor Catchments (see map).  

“These workshops are part of the next step, which is to get key community groups and individuals already active within these zones to work together through a tried and tested process to identify the top conservation priorities”, Dr Crawford said.

“This collaborative approach gets groups working together for the same cause, and means that we will have a list of priority projects ready to go whenever a funding opportunity becomes available.

“By planning ahead and strategically identifying biodiversity threats at a landscape scale, we will achieve better outcomes for the dollars we spend.

“The Australian Government has committed $200,000 to each of the zones under the National Landcare Programme to fund the implementation of the CAP and deliver on-ground works.

The workshops in Townsville and Bowen focused on Zone 1 and generated some excellent discussions between groups of knowledgeable, passionate people about current and proposed future priorities”, Dr Crawford said.

The final workshop for Zone 1 will take place in Collinsville in February 2016.  Workshops focusing on Zone 2 will begin in March 2016, with Zone 3 workshops scheduled to commence in July 2016.

If you are interested in helping to protect biodiversity, would like the opportunity to be involved, or have any existing plans or strategies that you believe would contribute to supporting the CAP process, please contact Brett King at NQ Dry Tropics, 4724 3544.