More than $1.3 million already has been awarded to projects responding to climate change and increasing biodiversity on private properties under the new Native Vegetation Heritage Agreements (NVHA) grants program.
Since the launch of the $6 million program in March this year, 67 projects across the state have received funds, including 21 in the Hills and Fleurieu region, 14 in the Northern and Yorke area, nine in the Murraylands and Riverland and six on Kangaroo Island.
The program – an election commitment - allows property owners to apply for micro-grants up to $1,000 through to larger grants of up to $100,000 for activities that enhance biodiversity and help build ecological resilience to climate change.
Common activities so far have included habitat improvement through weed control, revegetation works, and management of grazing impacts.
Landowners can enter into heritage agreements to help them maintain and enhance areas of native vegetation on their properties through access to tools, education, and funding.
The grants are provided through the Native Vegetation Branch (NVB) to facilitate projects on properties with existing heritage agreements and enable new heritage agreements to be put in place.
Department for Environment and Water Native Vegetation Manager Gayle Grieger said Native Vegetation Heritage Agreements helped to conserve and protect South Australia’s important biodiversity.
"Unique biodiversity is often found on privately-owned land, meaning heritage agreements are vital in the effort to protect and even expand on our native vegetation," she said.
“I encourage anyone with an existing heritage agreement to register their interest in funding, but also for people to consider entering into a heritage agreement if they fit the bill.
"Grants can be for works on individual heritage agreements or for works spanning multiple heritage agreements. They can also be for one-off activities or activities that span multiple years."
Eyre Peninsula resident Dr Gret Gordon was provided a $33,090 grant to restore areas of coastal dunes and reduce human impacts near Mount Camel Beach. These works are expected to improve habitat and protection for nationally vulnerable hooded plover.
"Heritage Agreements represent the new wave of private conservationists, who economically are committed to protecting biodiversity," Dr Gordon said.
"The value of this collaborative relationship between government and conservationists is crucial for the future of the South Australian environment. This grants program is an excellent example of how the government and landowner can work together to protect the environment.
"Mount Camel Beach on Eyre Peninsula, is an outstanding example of a Heritage Agreement. The Gordon family has not only protected this incredible coastal ecosystem that includes the endangered hooded plover, they also created a carbon zero dwelling for luxury stays that operates as a hub for conservation and biodiversity awareness.
"The Gordon family has forecasted to use their grant to establish vital fencing between heritage and farming land, so that Mount Camel Beach's fragile biodiversity is protected from livestock."
To get involved with the grant program, landholders can submit an Expression of Interest with the NVB and an officer will be in touch to arrange a site visit and discuss your property’s suitability