Communities in ICM

The Glenelg Hopkins region supports a permanent population of 137,000 with year-round tourism adding significantly to this number. The community includes people who live, work and visit or feel a connection to the region. Major cities and towns include Warrnambool, Hamilton, Portland, part of Ballarat, Ararat, Koroit, Port Fairy and Terang. The region attracts large numbers of visitors to its world-class tourist attractions and boasts a variety of educational and research institutions.

Integrated Catchment Management (ICM) recognises that people and their livelihoods rely on the health and productivity of landscapes and communities, and land managers need to be empowered to be directly responsible for sustainably managing the region’s natural resources. The whole community has a critical role to play in ICM in the region – from farmers to policy makers and planners. They need to work collaboratively to improve the management of catchment resources in the face of ongoing change1.

Glenelg Hopkins CMA leads and manages the development of the Regional Catchment Strategy (RCS), but it is partnerships with community, individuals and organisations within the region that are the foundation for effective delivery of the RCS. The RCS outlines a commitment to partnership and collaborative effort that encourages and supports the participation of the community, landholders and resource managers in land protection and catchment management.

Key contributing groups have legislative, corporate and social responsibilities to oversee ethical and sustainable resource management. They include Australian, Victorian and local governments; Glenelg Hopkins CMA; land, sea and water managers; industry and industry bodies; Traditional Owner organisations; community groups and volunteers; business, research and education organisations; and non-government organisations (NGOs). Strong community support enables these groups to appropriately plan, resource and act on priorities. Traditional Owners have cultural rights and obligations to look after Country.

This strategy aims to support the community in guiding collaborative and outcome-focused action. Planning and implementation of ICM programs should maximise opportunities for community engagement and leverage work already undertaken by regional partners.

Tree planting along the Grange Burn, Hamilton

Gunditjmara Traditional Owners and RUIL staff (Research Unit for Indigenous Language, The University of Melbourne) recording traditional bird names for the Part-parti Mirring-yi app (Shane Bell, Sherry Johnstone, Ada Nano, ‘Locky’ Eccles, Joel Wright, Janice Austin, Roslyn Clarke-Britton and Debbie Loakes)
Photo: Jenny Green

Land managers are key to a healthy and sustainable catchment
Photo: Southern Grampians Shire