South Australian landholders wanting to respond to climate change and increase biodiversity on their properties will be able to access grants under a new $6 million Native Vegetation Heritage Agreements program.
Unique biodiversity is often found on privately-owned land and can form part of important wildlife corridors by acting as an extension to national or conservation parks.
Private properties can also exist as private sanctuaries for native flora and fauna.
The new program will allow property owners to apply for micro-grants up to $1,000 and other grants up to $100,000. Grant applications can also cover multi-property and multiple year projects.
Landowners can enter into an agreement to help them maintain and enhance areas of native vegetation on their properties through access to tools, education and funding.
The $6 million will be provided through the Native Vegetation Council to enable new heritage agreements to be put in place and provide grants for on-ground works on existing NVHA properties.
The grants also will be available for a broader range of activities and an emphasis will be placed on supporting state conservation and regional landscape plan priorities.
Manager Native Vegetation Sarah Reachill said heritage agreements are a key element in helping maintain important ecosystems in South Australia.
“Since the Native Vegetation Heritage Agreement program was first introduced in 1980, more than 2,800 landholders have agreed to ensure the long-term protection of more than 1 million hectares of the state’s native vegetation,” Ms Reachill said.
“The NVHA program provides more than just grants. It gives heritage agreement property owners greater support though on-site management advice, training and networking.
“Heritage agreements are a key element in helping maintain important ecosystems in South Australia.”
Current NVHA holder Kristy How has two current Native Vegetation Heritage Agreements on land in Lameroo and Warooka.
“We understand that private conservation is critical in managing Australia’s unique biodiversity and we love that we get to preserve these areas for future generations,” Ms How said.
New NVHA property owners can also apply to the Native Vegetation Council for additional financial assistance available through the Native Vegetation Fund.
To get involved with the NVHA grant program, landholders can submit an Expression of Interest with the Native Vegetation Council and an officer will be in touch to arrange a site visit and discuss your property’s suitability.