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One million reasons to smile

A combined effort between landholders and local organisations across the Victorian Mallee has achieved over one million hectares of agricultural land covered through the Environmental Management Action Planning (EMAP) program.

One million reasons to smile

A stock containment area constructed after whole farm planning.

The program, regarded nationally as one of the leading property planning programs, provides landholders in the Mallee with a coordinated approach to addressing natural resource management issues in a farming context.

The EMAP program was first developed in 2005 by a team of regional partners including the Mallee Catchment Management Authority (CMA), Department of Primary Industries (DPI) - Farm Services Victoria (FSV), SunRISE21, Sunraysia Institute of TAFE and Landcare to provide whole farm planning that focused on the needs of Mallee farmers.

With funding from the Australian Government’s Caring for Our Country and the State Government’s Victorian Investment Framework, landholders have continued to develop action plans for their farms to help protect the regions natural resources.

Mallee CMA Board Chairperson Sharyon Peart said EMAP is unique in its approach to natural resource management in the Mallee and covering over one million hectares was a huge achievement for the region.

“A great success of this program has been building community capacity to plan and undertake action. Covering over one million hectares of land with an EMAP whole farm plan could not have been achieved without the resilient sustainable partnerships that have been established across the region,” she said.

“The continued support from landholders to the program year after year demonstrates the increasing demand and value of the program in the region,”

“A major component of EMAP is the personal case management support given to landholders and workshops that focus on natural resource management to assist and provide them with the skills and training to develop environmental and action plans suited to their own properties.

“Landholders feel empowered by these workshops to undertake works on their properties they may not have felt they had the support or resources to do themselves,” Ms Peart said.

The program was initially conducted in the Lake Tyrrell and Ouyen regions, where salinity and the threat of shallow water tables were identified as significant concerns.

It has since continued into the Millewa/Carwarp, Murrayville and Underbool target areas with stronger focus on soils prone to erosion and adapted to be delivered within the irrigation zones of the region.

The EMAP program has now entered into its ninth phase with workshops to be delivered in both the Hopetoun and Birchip areas of the Southern Mallee.

For more information on the Environmental Management Action Planning (EMAP) program, contact the Mallee CMA on 5051 4377.

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