Conserving private land is one of the most effective ways to protect natural landscapes, native plants and animals for future generations. In Tasmania, privately protected land covers a smaller area, but contains a higher percentage of threatened communities than public reserves.
As at September 2019, there are 886 Conservation Covenants in Tasmania, protecting 109,325 hectares. These are legal commitments, registered on the title of the land, which bind current and future owners in perpetuity to protect the natural values of the land. Conservation Covenants have been created under a range of programs, including Protected Areas on Private Land, Private Forests Reserve Program, Forest Conservation Fund, Biodiversity Hotspot Project, Non-Forest Vegetation Program and Midlands Biodiversity Hotspot Tender.
Many landholders appreciate the peace of mind of knowing that natural values, such as flora and fauna, native vegetation, wetlands and geo-conservation areas on their land will be protected into the future. The community also appreciates the important role of covenants for protection of the natural environment on private land in Australia. In fact, the long-term security of the mechanism is so strong that private land covenants are considered part of the National Reserve System.
The Tasmanian Land Conservancy has had a role in many of these programs, has Conservation Covenants on our own reserves, and places covenants on land sold through the Forest Conservation Fund Revolving Fund.
Protected Areas Partnership Program for ongoing support
The TLC works side-by-side in a partnership program with Tasmanian government staff from the Private Land Conservation Program. This partnership program provides stewardship support to Conservation Covenant landholders.
Our Conservation Programs Officers, Anna Povey and Oliver Strutt, are the stewardship point-of-contact for covenant landholders. They provide information, management advice and assistance, as well as access to new and emerging technologies and advances in conservation management. Daily activities include answering queries, meeting existing and new owners of covenants, monitoring vegetation health, identifying plants and animals, providing weed management advice and links to assistance, clarifying covenant requirements and management authorisations, and working with government staff to support landholders.
Oliver Strutt (south) – 0407 352 479, firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna Povey (north) – 0498 800 611, email@example.com
Kingborough Environmental Fund
The TLC has recently entered into a partnership with Kingborough Council to deliver a private land conservation program within its municipality. The Council has been accumulating financial offsets in an Environmental Fund and these will be used to establish Conservation Covenants on private land.
Landholders who place their vegetation under covenant as part of the program will receive stewardship payments from the Environmental Fund to manage the covenanted vegetation. The payments will cover the costs of management activities such as weed control, fencing and revegetation. The project is targeting the protection of threatened vegetation communities and threatened species habitat. This includes habitat for the endangered swift parrot and forty-spotted pardalote and threatened vegetation communities, especially black peppermint forests, which are under threat from land clearance.
The TLC is currently assessing properties in Kingborough to see if they are suitable for the program. For more information visit the Kingborough Council website.
Contact: Joe Quarmby firstname.lastname@example.org
Protected Areas on Private Land
Between 1999 and 2015, a Protected Areas on Private Land (PAPL) scheme between the Australian and Tasmanian governments and the Tasmanian Land Conservancy facilitated the creation of voluntary, private, protected areas through Conservation Covenants between the Tasmanian Government and private landowners.
While once serving as Tasmania’s principal long-term covenanting program, PAPL is currently not accepting new applications. Instead, government staff are compiling a list of inquiries for future assessment. To enquire, email PrivateLandConservation.Enquiries@dpipwe.tas.gov.au