Chair's foreword

On behalf of the region, I am proud to present the Glenelg Hopkins Regional Catchment Strategy (RCS) – the region’s overarching plan for integrated catchment management within the Glenelg Hopkins region. It is a plan to demonstrate how water, biodiversity and land can be managed by the Glenelg Hopkins community.  

The RCS outlines a vision for the region, details priority directions, challenges and opportunities.  It establishes a framework for investment and partnerships to deliver implementation. This includes how we, as a region, incorporate the values and priorities of local communities with Traditional Owners, and help put Government policies into action to achieve local and statewide outcomes.  Traditional Owners helped shape the strategy so that it recognises their obligations to Country and supports Aboriginal self-determination. The strategy will support the four Traditional Owner Groups in our region to increasingly lead partnerships and activities that protect and restore land and water.

The strategy has been developed in collaboration with over 70 organisations, reflecting the strength of regional partnerships and dedication of a diverse range of stakeholders to managing the natural resources of our region.  More than 550 community members volunteered their time at workshops to inform the community led strategy that will help support on-ground, place-based projects which deliver environmental, cultural, social and economic outcomes.

This is the region’s fourth RCS and builds on the previous strategies, which have evolved over time. This RCS places a strong focus on catchment stewardship and brings together partners from across the region to respond to complex challenges that cannot be solved by one organisation alone. The strategy has captured the concerns of our community around the effects of climate change. In response to these concerns and with input from key partners, the RCS highlights options to assist with regional adaptation, and recognises the importance of progressive thinking and innovation with activities such as carbon sequestration in soils and plantings, protection, and improvement of blue and teal carbon habitats, and increasing the resilience of agricultural land.

As a new initiative, the strategy identifies six local areas each with regional priorities, values, and assets. Local areas cover the entire region and reflect the differences in social and biophysical characteristics across the region. While the RCS highlights local community priorities and interests the RCS shows the interconnectedness of the RCS asset themes (community, water, biodiversity, land, and marine and coast).

We are grateful for the input from so many people who have generously contributed their time, ideas and expertise. With this input, we have been able to shape a vision for 2050 that presents a future with an empowered community that is nurturing a rich and connected landscape.

The RCS is a regional document. Its intent is to capture the voice of the region and provide a guide for all who play a role in catchment management. Its success is only possible with the commitment of a range of partners, and I look forward to the collective effort and progress we will make over the next 6 years.