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
From 2014-22, the TLC worked in partnership with Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania (NRE) (formerly DPIPWE) on their Private Land Conservation program, undertaking stewardship services for conservation covenant landowners across Tasmania under the Protected Area Partnership (PAP) banner. We were not asked to renew this contract after 30 June 2022 as the PLCP decided to engage stewardship staff within their team.
The partnership has been invaluable to TLC and NRE in providing advice, assistance and monitoring of the private land conservation estate and in maintaining contact with many TLC supporters and other private landowners who have committed parts of their land to conservation. On average our staff visited over 100 conservation properties per year, and we hope that those interactions have given landowners the support they need to help them maintain the natural values on their land.
Our relationship with NRE will continue as we seek to register conservation covenants through the various NRM contracts, Revolving Fund, and TLC reserves and will remain vital to TLC achieving outcomes for more conservation of private land in Tasmania.
If you are a covenant landowner and need support for your property, please contact the following:
Lauren Bird, Conservation Program Officer (North) 0499 759 958, Lauren.Bird@nre.tas.gov.au
Pip Jones, Conservation Program Officer (South) 0499 446 252, Pip.Jones@nre.tas.gov.au
The TLC continues to support Conservation Landholders Tasmania with the development and delivery of communication and outreach events for land owners with conservation covenants on their properties.
Kingborough Environmental Fund
The TLC has recently partnered with Kingborough Council and delivered a private land conservation program within its municipality. The Council has been accumulating financial offsets in an Environmental Fund and these have been 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.
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