Up to $50,000 is available from Community and Volunteer Action Grants to support activities that help to protect/improve local biodiversity and threatened species.
Community and Volunteer Action Grants
Community & Volunteer Action Grants funding aims to support practical community efforts to deliver conservation projects on public and private land.
Funds will be directed towards practical activities that:
- protect, improve and expand habitats for native flora and fauna
- address threats to local biodiversity values
- help communities better understand and manage their local native species and natural environments.
The Victorian Government is taking action in a number of ways to secure our unique biodiversity and the future of Victoria’s threatened species through:
- creation of a new long-term strategy for biodiversity
- revision of legislation such as the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and the Native Vegetation Regulations; and
- grants through the Biodiversity On-ground Action program
Biodiversity On-ground Action is the name of the Victorian Government initiative that builds on the successful action funded through the Threatened Species Protection Initiative. Biodiversity On-ground Action runs over four years and will better connect community to scientific information; and support organisations and communities to deliver conservation projects and activities to safeguard biodiversity. It supports a collaborative approach, recognising that innovation and the best outcomes for a healthy environment are achieved when people work together with the best available science.
The new program includes Community & Volunteer Action grants for immediate action by community and volunteers to address threats to biodiversity for better management of our natural environment.
Grants between $5,000 and up to $50,000 will be provided to successful applicants to support communities in efforts to conserve their local biodiversity and threatened species. Funding of up to $1 million is available for these grants in 2017.
Community & Volunteer Action Grants expect to fund a range of groups and on-ground project activities designed to protect, improve and expand habitats for native flora and fauna, or that address threats to local biodiversity values. In addition, complementary activities that enable communities to better understand and manage their local native species and natural environments will be supported.
Examples of possible projects include:
- A community group protects migratory bird nests and chicks from being trampled on the beach by erecting fencing around important habitat. In addition, educational signage is produced to alert the public to keep dogs on leads and stay clear of the habitat area. The group is running events to work with the local community to increase the understanding of threats to the birds and to demonstrate how the community can make a difference through protection and management of the habitat.
- A community group engages a herpetologist to work with community volunteers to collect information about a threatened frog’s habitat, threats and breeding cycle. The volunteers are provided with training in health and safety, pathogen control and ecology of the frog. The herpetologist works with the volunteers as they participate in the survey work. Following this, a report that identifies priority actions to reduce local key threats is produced, which is then presented and discussed with the local community to enable suitable actions to be implemented.
- A school group helps plant native seedlings along a local creek, linking vegetation patches to create a habitat corridor. The project is supported by the local Landcare Group which provides the children with guidance to plant and care for the trees. The school also organises complementary educational activities to increase the children’s understanding of the local threatened species and the actions needed to reduce threats to plants and animals.
Community groups and not-for-profit organisations primarily focused on environmental projects such as biodiversity conservation or habitat protection and restoration projects are encouraged to apply.
Example groups include:
- Urban and rural Landcare, Bushcare, Coastcare, Rivercare, Parkcare and Friends of groups and networks
- Environmental, naturalist groups or volunteer associations
- Conservation Management Networks
- Public land committees of management
- Traditional Owner groups and associations
- Not-for-profit conservation organisations
- Schools and educational groups
- Youth and senior citizens clubs
- Local service and recreational groups
- Other types of groups may also be considered if they are proposing to work with volunteers to undertake local conservation projects that support biodiversity or threatened species.
- Applicant groups must hold insurances sufficient to safeguard project participants, including $10 million public liability and personal accident insurance. Cover through the Farm Tree and Landcare Association (FTLA) or through DELWP arrangements for Committees of Management is also acceptable.
Incorporation or charitable status
Applicant groups must either:
- be an incorporated association registered through Consumer Affairs Victoria or be incorporated through an umbrella group, such as the Farm Tree and Landcare Association; or
- be registered as a not-for-profit organisation with the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission (ACNC)
Applications close 3 April 2018.
The Andrews Labor Government has released Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037, a new long-term plan to protect our environment.
Using the latest scientific modelling, the new plan enables Victoria to adapt to the challenges faced by all aspects of our natural environment.
It builds on work already underway to review Native Vegetation Clearing Regulations and a refresh of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988, ensuring that Victoria has an effective approach to protecting its biodiversity.
Our ecosystems not only sustain life by providing clean air and water, productive soils, natural pest control, pollination, flood mitigation and carbon sequestration – but they also support activities that underpin Victoria’s liveability and economic strength.
The plan provides another opportunity for Victoria to show national leadership in biodiversity protection in the face of our changing climate.
Applications are now also open for $1 million in Community and Volunteer Action Grants for community groups and environmental organisations under the new Biodiversity On-ground Action initiative.
The Labor Government also recently announced a further boost to threatened species including the Powerful Owl, Growling Grass Frog, Southern Bent-Wing Bat, Regent Honeyeater and Squirrel Glider by doubling funding towards Community Volunteer Action Grants.
This followed news that threatened species of amphibians are recording encouraging captive breeding results, with record numbers of Southern and Northern Corroboree Frogs and Baw Baw Frogs bred at Healesville Sanctuary and Melbourne Zoo.
For more information on the new biodiversity plan visit: www.environment.vic.gov.au or to apply for a grant visit: www.delwp.vic.gov.au/grants
To view the Government’s new environmental health statement visit: www.environment.vic.gov.au/biodiversity