Volunteers give generously of their time and knowledge for the Swan Region’s environment

Four consecutive annual surveys have shown environmental volunteers in the Swan Region make a significant contribution to the management of Perth’s unique environmental values. In 2017, 113 environmental volunteers representing 68 groups and organisations involved in NRM participated in the Community Capacity Assessment Survey.

Environmental volunteers become involved in conserving our natural places through a desire to protect and preserve the environment. In 2017, the participating volunteers gave over 51, 100 hours of on-ground work, including 6, 800 hours to remove and identify weeds and 6,500 hours to revegetate the sites they help to manage. Together their in-kind contribution to environmental activities was worth an estimated $1, 535, 000.

Over four years, volunteer groups have shown that they are highly self-reliant and often contribute their own financial capital to ensure the group can conduct its activities, including transportation of tools and equipment, office equipment and headquarters for administration. They work closely with their local government authority and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions to effectively manage their natural areas. Last year 87% of participants reported that on-ground work is undertaken jointly with the managing body. Making more funds available to deliver management of natural resources was viewed as the most effective way to improve the relationship between community groups and local government authorities.

Groups and individuals are keen to develop their knowledge and skills, and many respondents indicated that they are interested in improving conservation of aquatic environments. Management of indigenous and introduced species in marine, river and ocean environments, water quality monitoring, and the identification, removal of invasive species and restoration of aquatic ecosystems were identified as capacity gaps in 2017.

Perth NRM acknowledges the commitment of volunteers and the diverse range of activities undertaken to conserve the environment. We encourage you to read the Community Capacity Assessment report on the 2017 survey and to celebrate the contribution of your work to the Swan Region. If you would like to know more about the Assessment please contact Ingrid Sieler, Sustainable Communities Manager at ingrid.sieler@perthnrm.com.

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