Land managers and farmers will be equipped to benefit from the environmental services they generate through sustainable land management, with a new program launched today.
The Environmental Markets Leadership Program, delivered by Local Land Services and Ethical Fields, will give farmers the skills, confidence and networks to identify, market and benefit from their natural assets.
The program supports land managers and farmers to break down and simplify the world of environmental markets by identifying the environmental services they generate on their land and defining ways to create income and other benefits from these services.
Environmental services are generated from sustainable land management practices and healthy environments - creating clean air and water, nutrient rich soils, and habitat for native plants and animals to name a few. Creating a market for these goods and services enables land managers, farmers and community to benefit.
Meaghan Burkett, Director at Ethical Fields said when land managers and farmers invest in the environment, and community invests in them, everyone benefits.
"From clean air and water, to fertile soil and biodiversity, the benefits of good land stewardship can be far reaching," Ms Burkett said.
"Many land managers already participate in carbon and biodiversity markets. Beyond participation, they could play a leading role in these markets, whilst earning a financial return for doing so."
Claire Parkes, Business Partner Natural Resource Management at Local Land Services said Local Land Services has heard from farmers that they want to know more about new and emerging markets for environmental services.
"These markets present opportunities to diversify farm income but also pose risks and costs," Ms Parkes said.
"This program will help participants understand the pros and cons, analyse the opportunities on their properties, and be better positioned to seek a good deal if they do decide to market their environmental services."
Participants in the program will be empowered to lead the development of new markets that meet their needs, providing them with a level of control and influence in the market.
"The market for natural capital and environmental services is growing across Australia. There is an increasing range of environmental services that organisations are prepared to pay for, and land managers and farmers are currently in a good position to drive the development of many of these markets," Ms Burkett said.
The Environmental Markets Leadership Program will create a community of like-minded peers who will participate in interactive and case-based learning over a period of two years.
The Environmental Markets Leadership Program team is now taking registrations from interested land managers and farmers across NSW.
This program is funded by the NSW Environmental Trust.
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