Targets, targets, targets: laying some common ground across multi-catchment natural resource management targets for vegetation management and revegetation
We report the findings of our analysis and synthesis of NRM targets that directly relate to vegetation management and revegetation across the dryland farming systems of the Lower Murray (LM) region. In this paper the LM consists of three sub-catchments of the Murray Darling Basin (MDB), namely the SA MDB, and the Victorian Wimmera and Mallee Catchment Management Authorities. The LM Landscape Futures project, of which this work is a part, is a multi-organisation and multi-region effort to apply a systematic and integrated approach to NRM within the lower MDB. The main aims of the project are to analyse the impact of existing regional NRM plans and investment strategies on natural resources, with consideration given to community well-being (social, economic and environmental outcomes), and explore future options and scenarios for the Lower Murray in partnership with stakeholders in the region.
This paper presents the outcomes of the first aim by:
i) critically assessing the 40+ vegetation management and revegetation related targets from the 15 current plans and strategies that apply to the region, and;
ii) using best available science and policy, synthesise and enhance the targets so they are better indicators of a resilient/sustainable system and are measurable, specific, consistent and detailed enough to enable prioritisation for investment in NRM using available data sources.
An example of an enhanced target is 'revegetation to ensure 15% of the pre-European distribution of each vegetation community is either remnant or revegetated', as opposed to a vague target of 'increasing vegetation cover by 1%'. The key message from this paper is the need to set realistic and achievable NRM targets for on-ground vegetation management and revegetation based on the best available data and planning methodologies.