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BIODIVERSITY CONNECTIVITY INCENTIVES

 

Trust for Nature and the North East Catchment Management Authority (CMA) are working in partnership to deliver this incentives project, which focuses on:

  • Improving the condition and extent of connectivity of high conservation areas of habitat within the Warby Ranges and Lower Ovens area.
  • Improving the condition and extent of high value remnant vegetation, including Box-Iron bark forests in the Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park area.

For landholders willing to place a conservation covenant over the site, funding is available through the Victorian Government’s Biodiversity Hubs Project for activities such as fencing of native vegetation, planting native trees and shrubs, weed control, pest animal control and wildlife nest boxes. Project sites may include grazing as part of their management.

Please refer to the Biodiversity Connectivity Incentives information brochure below for eligibility criteria and information about conservation covenants, guidelines and rates for the incentives. 

Biodiversity Connectivity Information Brochure  

ELIGIBILITY

Incentives are available to landholders and projects must meet the eligibility criteria below:

  • Located on private land.
  • Located in one of the two target areas:
    • Warby Ranges and Lower Ovens.
    • Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park.
  • Not subject to a current funding agreement for the same activities.
  • Landholders must be willing to place a conservation covenant on the land.

How do I know if my site is in a target area?

You can check if your site is within one of the target areas by clicking this map link and entering your address in the box in the top right corner.

SITE ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

Projects will be ranked against each other using the following criteria:

  • Site size (bigger sites will be scored higher).
  • Vegetation quality (comparative to a benchmark for components such as large old trees, canopy cover, lack of weeds, species diversity and cover, recruitment, organic litter and logs).
  • Landscape context (extent of native vegetation in the area and connectivity).
  • Presence of rare or threatened species.
  • Return on investment (value for money).

 The assessment criteria will be scored as follows.

Criteria

Score

Vegetation Quality Assessment 30
Site area 25
Rare or threatened species 20
Return on investment 25
Total 100

 

Those projects that rank the highest under the scoring system shown in the above table are offered funding. There is no minimum or maximum funding amount set for individual projects but applicants need to be able to be realistic about the amount of work they can do and how much they can co-fund. 

Landholder Commitments

Landholder commitments include the following:

  • Successful landholders must place a conservation covenant on their land
  • Successful landholders must sign up to a 10-year Works Project Agreement.
  • All works must be completed in accordance with standards, which outline minimum requirements.
  • Stock must be excluded from any revegetation sites until plants are well established.
  • Strategic grazing of some sites is allowed subject to approval.

RATES FOR ACTIVITIES

The following rates apply for on-ground works. Applicants that are successful in receiving funding are expected to contribute labour for the activities.

 Activity

 Rate

 Standard fencing  $12/m
 Electric fencing  $8/m
 Modifying existing fence  $2/m
 Revegetation  $3.50 per plant (up to $2,500/ha)
 Direct seeding  Up to $1,500/ha
 Weed control  Up to $1,000/ha
 Mechanical woody weed removal  Up to 60% of project cost, up to $10,000
 Rabbit control 50:50 cost share  Up to $1,000
 Off-stream watering point 50:50 cost share  Up to $3,000 per site (not per individual watering point)
 Active bank erosion 50:50 cost share  Up to $2,000
 Nest boxes  $60 each up to $1,200
 Management payments  Up to $50/ha/yr for 10 years
 Grazing reduction offset  Site-by-site assessment
 Specialist services  Site-by-site assessment

 

CONSERVATION COVENANTS

Conservation covenants:

  • Are a voluntary legal agreements that, once established, last forever.
  • Contain a set of restrictions and rights for a particular property in relation to future land-use activities.
  • Protect habitat and conserve biodiversity.
  • Protect land with natural, cultural or scientific values.
  • Can generally only be amended if changes improve the land's conservation values or pose no threat to them.
  • Can only be removed in extreme and highly unusual circumstances

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

Step 1 -  Submit your EIO via the online form by 9am 11 October 2017.

Step 2 - A property visit will be arranged to discuss the project, determine the scope of works and assess your site against the project eligibility and site selection criteria. Property visits will occur between September and November 2017. If your site clearly does not meet the criteria a property visit may not be undertaken, but you will be contacted to discuss your application.

Step 3 - If your site meets the eligibility criteria, a funding proposal will be developed based on the proposed works and the relevant incentive rates.

Step 4 - In December 2017, sites will be ranked by an assessment panel based on their scoring relative to the site assessment criteria.

Step 5 - Successful and unsuccessful landholders will be informed between December 2017 and January 2018.

Step 6 - Works Project Agreements and Management Plans will be developed for successful landholders between January and February 2018.

Step 7 - Landholders will return their signed Works Project Agreements and associated forms between February and March 2018.

Step 8 - Works Project Agreements and associated forms will be reviewed and processed by Trust for Nature. Initial 50% payments will be made following internal approval and processing of all documentation.

Step 9 - Incentive works may commence from March 2018.

Step 10 - Subsequent incentive payments will be made following the completion and inspection of works. All works are to be completed and final payments processed by December 2018.

Apply Here for Biodiversity Connectivity Incentives