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Rivers of Carbon: Southern Tablelands Riparian Linkage Project

IWC student's Masters assignment helps win $1.8 million funding for Greening Australia and Australian River Restoration Centre.
Rivers of Carbon: Southern Tablelands Riparian Linkage Project

Rivers of Carbon Project Manager Lori Gould. Photo Andrew Tatnell

IWC Masters student Lori Gould's ‘Design an integrated water management project proposal’ problem-based learning assignment for modules Water Sustainability and Development and Water Governance and Policy was used as a basis for the submission that won the funding through the Australian Government’s Clean Energy Future Biodiversity Fund.

The project has been chosen as one of the Clean Energy Futures Biodiversity Fund case studies. The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry will be following the progress of the project over the next six years (the life of the project).

Rivers of Carbon’ will work in partnership with landholders, NRM Regional Bodies and other organisations in the Southern Tablelands region of the upper Murrumbidgee and Lachlan catchments (important tributaries in the Murray Darling Basin), with priority given to areas with populations of threatened species, to link remnant vegetation and previously rehabilitated sites to form intact riparian corridors. 

The project will also extend riparian corridors into the wider terrestrial landscape to facilitate species movement in the face of climate change, as well as leveraging biodiverse Carbon Farming Initiatives in these highly productive areas.  Science and  local knowledge will be used to identify priority areas for on-ground works, and will focus on important threatened species habitat. The project is a collaboration between the Australian River Restoration Centre and Greening Australia Capital Region.

The project proposal was focussed on the Yass Region. Called ‘Yass River Recovery’, it was based on the Boorowa River Recovery model, a project Ms Gould has managed for seven years. It was on the basis of this project proposal that the application for Rivers of Carbon was submitted and won.

Rivers of Carbon. Biodiversity Fund Project at property Yeumburra. Photo Andrew Tatnell

Rivers of Carbon. Biodiversity Fund Project at property Yeumburra. Photo Andrew Tatnell

"The IWC Masters' principles of holistic and adaptive management, collaboration and participatory planning strongly underpin the Rivers of Carbon project," said Ms Gould. "The course has very much broadened my understanding of these principles and articulated what I have been doing for a long time. The Masters program aligns very closely with my profession and provides up to date information that strongly enhances my ability to do my job."

Ms Gould's vision for the partnership project is to rehabilitate 120 kms of riparian area over the next six years, linking many existing sites and protecting and enhancing areas of remnant vegetation, and to strongly engage community in doing so. This will improve water quality and biodiversity in the focus area and provide production outcomes such as shelter for livestock. "I would like the community to get behind the project, and the project to capitalise on innovation and ideas from farmers and other community members so that they have ownership. I would like it to be a model of project implementation."

Rivers of Carbon. Project Managers Siwan Lovett and Lori Gould. Photo Andrew Tatnell

Rivers of Carbon. Project Managers Lori Gould and Siwan Lovett. Photo Andrew Tatnell

Ms Gould is a Senior Project Manager at Greening Australia Capital Region. She has worked in NRM for the past 18 years - in ACT Parks and Conservation Service for six years as a Ranger, and Greening Australia Capital Region for 12 years as a project manager, specialising in riparian rehabilitation projects, managing projects focussed on engaging the community in improving biodiversity, linking vegetation, addressing salinity, etc. Currently she manages several projects in the southern tablelands and central western NSW including:

  • GreenGrid – a ten year partnership with electricity supplier, TransGrid, which has engaged 430 farmers to rehabilitate almost 2000 ha of agricultural land
  • Whole of Paddock Rehabilitation project – which has so far engaged 50 farmers in ‘paddock makeovers’ where a paddock is destocked, trees and shrubs are direct seeded on the contour in belts, and farmers are paid a stewardship payment to offset loss of production for five years, after which time the paddock is put back into production with a range of benefits for stock, water quality and biodiversity
  • Murrumbateman Biolinks – engages rural residential and landholders with smaller holdings to link vegetation across their properties
  • Boorowa River Recovery – targeted ‘hotspot’ sub catchment in the upper Lachlan. Engaged 70 landholders to rehabilitate 80 kms of waterways to reduce salt and sediment entering the Lachlan River. This project formed the basis of Rivers of Carbon.
  • Rivers of Carbon project.

For more information on the Rivers of Carbon project visit:

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