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Catchment Stewardship Framework Paper

Our Catchments, Our Communities: Strengthening the Catchment Stewardship Framework in Victoria

The Strengthening the Catchment Stewardship Framework in Victoria paper updates and describes contemporary catchment stewardship as involving both individual and collective efforts in managing catchments to generate intergenerational benefits for the environment, people and place.

The paper builds on work by thought leaders and practitioners (including Traditional Owner representatives, academics, and policy and program leads) to create a current understanding of catchment stewardship that recognises that people are connected to important places.

Connection is critical to deliver catchment stewardship outcomes including empowered Aboriginal custodianship; community empowerment; multiple benefits for people and places; intergenerational equity; protected achievements; raised standards for natural resource management; and resilient communities and landscapes.

Guiding principles shape the way catchment stewardship is understood and implemented. These include collective planning and delivery, support for Aboriginal self-determination, and valuing different perspectives and knowledge.

Strategic Directions Statement 2021

Our Catchments, Our Communities: Building on the Legacy for Better Stewardship

The Victorian Government’s strategic directions statement for catchment stewardship was released in 2021. Our Catchments, Our Communities: Building on the Legacy for Better Stewardship supports catchment stewardship through:

  • 10 new regional catchment strategies
  • on-ground place-based projects which deliver environmental, cultural, social, and economic outcomes
  • enhanced catchment partnerships
  • aligning with Traditional Owners' aspirations for Country.

The statement builds on the successes of the first state-wide integrated catchment strategy for Victoria.

It maintains the commitment to invest in integrated catchment management under Water for Victoria with a further $21.75 million committed between 2021 and 2024.

Our Catchments, Our Communities Strategy
2016 to 2019

Our Catchments, Our Communities is a partnership with catchment management authorities (CMAs).

The strategy demonstrates our commitment to managing catchments to benefit:

  • our environment
  • our community
  • our economy.

It focuses on how we manage our natural resources by ensuring catchment management partners work better together. It also complements Victoria’s directions for biodiversity and climate change.

The vision and goals of the strategy

The strategy's aim:

Healthy, sustainable and productive land, water and biodiversity maintained through integrated catchment management that is strongly community based, regionally focused and collaborative.

Through the strategy, we are building:

  • effective community engagement in catchment management
  • better connections between state, regional and local planning
  • strengthened implementation of regional catchment strategies
  • clearer roles, strengthened accountability and coordination
  • improved monitoring, evaluation and reporting.

Implementation of the strategy

The Victorian Government provided $22 million over 4 years to implement Our Catchments, Our Communities. Our approach to catchment management ensures we are ready for future environmental and economic challenges and opportunities.

Groups involved in implementing the strategy included:

  • state and regional partners
  • the Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action (DEECA)
  • CMAs.

The strategy strengthens partnerships by coordinating planning, investment and on-ground activities.

Strategy successes

The strategy has achieved several significant outcomes, including:

  • creating 175 integrated catchment management partnerships
  • having 74 landowners agree to improve property management
  • planting 553 hectares of native vegetation
  • controlling weeds on 4,485 hectares of land
  • controlling pest animals on 36,427 hectares of land
  • improving management practices on 1,905 hectares of land
  • conducting 252 ecological, cultural and soil assessments
  • engaging with the community through various events.

Progress reports

Page last updated: 07/05/24