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Australian landcare leads the world.

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Australian landcare leads the world

AFFA03/062M 29 April 2003

National Landcare Conference Darwin 28 April-1 May 2003

Over 60 representatives from 10 countries have been attending the National Landcare Conference that is currently being held in Darwin. Representatives are from China, East Timor, Fiji, Indonesia, Kenya, New Zealand, Philippines, South Africa, Vietnam and the United States.

Senator Ian Macdonald, Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation, will attend the conference tomorrow (Wednesday) to speak on the Howard Government's support for landcare, and how the Government is ensuing that natural resource management issues stay a top agenda item.

Senator Macdonald welcomed the many representatives attending the conference and congratulated all attendees on their enthusiasm for natural resource management issues.

"It is important to recognise the interaction between Australia and other countries to promote the work of landcare. I am delighted to see over 600 participants from all over Australia and internationally taking part in this conference," Senator Macdonald said.

"The purpose of the international attendance is the development of partnerships and networks among participants to promote landcare in their own countries. We believe that community participation in managing rural environments, as found in the landcare model, if adapted properly to local social and land tenure conditions, provides a good start towards environmental sustainability in farming regions.

"As landcare is an established natural resource management practice in Australia, we have a great deal to offer in terms of technical advice and model development."

A key to successful landcare in Australia has been the 'community partnership' approach that assists communities to work with government and other groups, to identify and address the key impediments to achieving sustainable agriculture and natural resource management. The partnership approach defines the roles and responsibilities that government, industry and community groups have in agricultural production and natural resource management, and aims to address the underlying causes of unsustainable management practices, rather than its symptoms.

Senator Macdonald will be speaking at the conference tomorrow, WEDNESDAY 30 APRIL 2003 at 8.15am, at The Holiday Inn, The Esplanade, Darwin.

Further inquiries:

Megan O'Connor (travelling with Senator Macdonald) 0438 611 296