JAPANESE researchers visited the region last week to gain knowledge of Australia’s world renowned ‘Landcare’ program.
Dr Kazuki Kagohashi, from Nanzan University, and PhD student Tomomi Maekawa, with The Tokyo Institute of Technology, visited Lake Bolac, Penshurst and Hamilton to study and network with Landcare groups.
The visitors were accompanied by Professor Michael Seigel, also of Nanzan University.
Landcare started in 1986 as a community-based volunteer movement which helped farmers work through environmental problems in groups.
The strength of the program was in its approach, with farmers no longer needing to overcome environmental problems alone.
The program has since become increasingly sophisticated, addressing issues with ‘Coastcare’ and other agricultural programs.
Notable Landcare projects in the area include the award winning Glenelg River Restoration Project, a joint effort between Landcare groups and The Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority.
The project is highly acclaimed and has been nominated as a finalist in the 2014 International River prize.
The researchers visit had them view several Landcare related projects in the area, including wildlife corridors, wetland restorations and land class fencing.
They were joined by several Landcare professionals, including Penshurst’s Friends of Yatmerone, a Landcare group dedicated to the Yatmerone Wildlife Reserve.
The group treated the visitors to a barbecue on Mount Rouse before visiting Landcare sites in the Pierrepoint area.
Full story in The Spectator on Saturday, March 29, 2014, or subscribe to our epaper at top of page.