Drought Resilient Soils and Landscapes Project
Healthy Land & Water’s Drought Resilient Soils and Landscapes Project is designed to improve natural capital – soil health and land condition and build the resilience of grazing landscapes in South East Queensland.
Activities will demonstrate and promote grazing and land management practices to help land managers prepare for and respond to drought.
This project engages landholders, key industry stakeholders, Landcare groups and government partners.
About the project
- Working with landholders to trial, demonstrate and promote grazing and land management practices which directly improve drought resilience and build natural capital underpinning agricultural productivity.
- Measures trends and improvements in natural capital, particularly soil health and land condition to help monitor and promote longer-term benefits of improved grazing and farming practices.
- Builds on existing landholder and industry networks to share learnings through field days, forums and case studies to help drive practice change/accelerate adoption of practices which build resilience in grazed landscapes.
Why this project is important
Australia is the driest inhabited continent. Landholders are used to dealing with a highly variable climate, however, faced with the worsening effects of climate change, South East Queensland land managers need to better prepare for drought, floods, and intense weather events.
This project is important because it will support a variety of on-farm trials which demonstrate and promote grazing and land management practices which improve soil health, grazing land condition and riparian areas, for wider application and adoption by other landholders across the region.
The rigorous assessment and monitoring of natural capital/resource condition- soils, pasture and land, riparian & native vegetation – will help provide further evidence of the longer-term production and environmental benefits of recommended practices and improve landholder understanding of monitoring tools and verification frameworks they can consider implementing on their own properties.
The project aims to encourage sharing of landholder experiences, peer-to-peer learning and information on best practices and new tools within existing industry networks and extend the learnings to other landholders through program of local workshops and field days, a regional forum, case studies and newsletters, to promote wider adoption and implementation of management strategies and practices which improve resilience of natural resources to ensure a greater number of farming businesses across the region are able to adapt and manage drought and climate risks.
Threats from droughts
- Reduced yields and crop and pasture failures.
- Livestock production losses.
- Impacts on soil health and biological activity.
- Reduced groundcover and increased soil erosion.
- Reduced water availability and security.
- Increased pest and disease pressures.
- Greater risk of bushfires.
- Significant declines in ecological health and function of waterways.
- Habitat disturbance and biodiversity losses.
- Increased impacts on physical and mental health.
- Negative economic and social impacts on local and regional communities.
Healthy Land & Water’s Drought Resilient Soils and Landscapes Project will:
- Support a series of landholder trials and demonstration sites showcasing a variety of strategies and practices which improve natural resource condition and resilience to encourage wider uptake across the landscape.
- Measure baseline condition, trends and improvements in natural capital, particularly soils and land condition, using established indicators and tools to monitor and promote longer-term benefits associated with improved management practices.
- Improve landholder awareness, understanding of benchmarking and natural capital accounting as way of measuring and verifying improvements for meeting sustainability goals and considering emerging environmental markets.
- Share and promote learnings and benefits through landholder and community networks, workshops and field days, a regional forum and series of case studies/fact sheets to increase further trialing and adoption of drought resilient practices by other landholders across the region.
The planned program of coordinated demonstration, monitoring activities and shared learnings will directly help build drought resilience within grazing landscapes of SEQ by:
Increasing awareness, skills, knowledge and confidence of landholders to develop and implement effective adaptation and management plans, strategies and practices which enable them to better prepare for, manage and recover from drought and severe climate events.
- Increasing the number of landholders trialing and adopting drought resilient management practices through direct involvement in trials and demonstration sites and effective promotion through field days, forums and case studies.
- Strengthening local and regional landholder networks and collaboration with community and industry organisations to share learnings to promote increased adoption and scaling up across the wider landscape during and beyond this project.
- Improving natural capital at both property and landscape level, particularly soil health, and pasture and grazing land condition and riparian health.
This project is supported by Healthy Land & Water, through funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.