More than 20 key stakeholders from industry, government and community met in Karratha on 25 March for the first of three workshops to create a Conservation Action Plan (CAP) for the Pilbara Bioregion.
Workshop one was the first face-to-face opportunity for collaboration by key stakeholders to consider existing and planned projects and begin to map priority action areas for the Pilbara.
Coordinated by the Pilbara Corridors Project, the workshop was run by experienced and leading facilitators of the CAP process in Australia ‘ Todd Berkinshaw, National Director of Conservation for Greening Australia and Barry Heydenrych, Lead Planner/Scientist, South West Region for Greening Australia.
Pilbara Corridors Program Manager Ian Cotton said the workshop introduced the CAP process and consideration of key conservation assets, scope, and ongoing participation.
“The benefits of undertaking a CAP process are recognised in more than 1,000 successful global conservation projects,” Mr Cotton said.
“The process recognises the iterative nature of planning, the inclusion of existing plans, strategies and data sets, and the importance of engaging key personnel to ensure planning consistency,” he said.
A ˜vision for the Pilbara’ was discussed and aligned with actions that would support the elements of the vision. Priority conservation actions included restoring native biota, halting the decline in biodiversity by reducing the number of feral cats and other pests, and optimising land condition with improved fire management and grazing management practices.
Gaia Resources supported the process in terms of spatial information, using the Rangelands NRM Geographic & Reporting Information Database (GRID). Pilbara assets and activities mapped in GRID are displayed on a map on the Pilbara Corridors website.
Workshop two will identify current condition and threats and is planned for the first week of May.
In preparation for workshop two, stakeholders started to identify key assets: Rosemary Island and Depuch Island; major river systems”De Grey, Yule, Ashburton, Fortescue, Turner, Cane and their major tributaries; mangroves, corals and reef systems; turtle beaches, sandy beaches and dunes; Roebourne Plains, Hamersley George system, Fortescue Marsh, Millstream; and the Burrup Peninsula.
Workshop three will determine conservation goals, strategies, key actions and monitoring and is planned for the third week of June.
The Pilbara Corridors Project is a coordinated approach to address biodiversity threats on a landscape scale in the Pilbara. It is a collaborative partnership between Rangelands NRM, Greening Australia and the WA Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW).
See the Gaia Resources website for more information about mapping for the Pilbara Corridors Project.