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Landcarers making a difference on International Mangrove Day



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Landcarers making a difference on International Mangrove Day

International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem is an important opportunity to raise awareness of the vital role these unique ecosystems play in sustaining communities, economies and the environment in Australia and around the world.

Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Luke Hartsuyker, applauded local movements dedicated to protecting mangrove forests across Australia, often working in conjunction with Landcare and Coastcare initiatives.

“As an island continent, Australia is surrounded by approximately 11,000 kilometres of mangrove-lined coast—around 18 per cent of the coastline and the third largest area of mangroves in the world after Indonesia and Brazil,” Minister Hartsuyker said.

“Sadly, Australia’s mangroves, like those around the world, are facing the challenges of a rapidly changing, dynamic world from rising sea levels and climate variability, to tourism development.

“The Government recognises the importance of protecting these precious ecosystems in the face of these climate and development threats.

“Through Landcare and Coastcare initiatives, we are working hand-in-hand with local communities and Indigenous people who, with their deep connection to the Sea Country and long history of estuarine living, are invaluable partners.

“On the floodplains of the Maroochy River on the Sunshine Coast, members of the Bunya Bunya Country Aboriginal Corporation, who have developed skills in mangrove propagation and rehabilitation over the last nine years, are working with cane farmers to stabilise eroding riverbanks with mangrove planting.

“At Golden Beach in Caloundra, this team is also part of a collaborative community project through Healthy Land and Water, which is establishing a natural shoreline vegetation buffer, partly through mangrove propagation, to prevent erosion and promote fish habitat.

“Mangroves are uniquely adapted trees and larger shrubs that inhabit the tidal sea edge between land and sea—diverse forested wetlands where thousands of species interact.

“The habitat they form is rich in biodiversity, providing a valuable nursery habitat for fish and crustaceans; a food source for kangaroos, nectar for honeybees and they can survive waters that are 100 times saltier than what most freshwater-dependent plants can stand.

“Mangroves ensure food security for many local communities around the world, protect coastlines and reduce vulnerability to natural hazards like storm surges and rising sea levels, are highly effective carbon sinks and the forest roots filter run off, reducing soil erosion.

“On International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem, these wonderful projects remind us why the Government’s $1 billion plus contribution to Landcare is so important.

“It’s an investment in the future of Australia’s unique and precious mangrove ecosystems. It’s an investment in our future.”

For more information on the National Landcare Programme, visit nrm.gov.au/national-landcare-programme .

Media contact: Simeon Lawson - 0423 962 872