Trust for Nature is a not-for-profit organisation that works to protect native plants and wildlife in cooperation with private landowners.
Our native plants and wildlife provide us with not only important services, such as clean water and resources, but they are important in and of themselves. However, as two-thirds of Victoria is privately owned, many of these species and their habitats are not currently getting the protection they need.
The Trust was established under the Victorian Conservation Trust Act 1972 to enable people to contribute permanently to nature conservation by donating land or money.
We have since evolved into one of Victoria's primary land conservation organisations, with several tools to help people protect biodiversity on private land. Those tools include: conservation covenants; land management stewardship; our Revolving Fund; land ownership and management and assistance in arranging native vegetation offsets.
In 1978, Trust for Nature developed conservation covenants as a way to legally protect biodiversity private land, and we have now protected more than 47,000 hectares through over 1,115 perpetual conservation covenants. The Trust has also purchased and preserved more than 55 properties across Victoria through its Revolving Fund, as well as currently owning and managing 46 properties that cover over 36,000 hectares of Victoria.
Within two decades, protecting native plants and wildlife on private land will be recognised and valued as a central part of mainstream Australian environmental practice. There will be a shared expectation and responsibility among communities, landowners and governments that significant natural areas on privately owned land should be conserved, just as national and state parks are protected.
Our work in the Glenelg Hopkins catchment
In the Glenelg Hopkins region the Catchment Management Authority has a strong partnership with Trust for Nature. During the last eight years the CMA has offered grants and funding programs to landowners, which include the Bush Tender and Plains Tender initiatives.
Over 70 landowners have committed to permanent conservation agreements within this region since 1998. This ensures that their children and grandchildren will enjoy these special places into the future.
The Trust's role in providing voluntary, permanent protection in this area has resulted in both security of investment for the Government and the protection of important bird and plant species for the next generation.