Ecological degradation is accelerating rapidly. Despite the best of intentions, even some bush regeneration or ‘weed control’ practices are contributing to this. We must reduce the use of herbicides which are now a major contributor to the pollution of air, land and water and threat to ecological and community health.
Under indigenous land management practices, Australia was home to a large diversity of species and successful indigenous management required an in-depth knowledge of all species and their relationship to each other. How can we learn from this?
In the brief time since European establishment in Australia there are now more than 1,180 known threatened plant species and more than 60 plant extinctions. There are around 61 known extinctions of animals and about 350 threatened. The actual figures are likely to be much higher, taking into account the many unidentified species, including many invertebrates such as insects. Many of these species were once extremely abundant and provided plentiful food sources.
One important aspect of indigenous land management we aim to regain in our approach is to re-connect people to the specific place and environment of their community to help heal our relationships with one another and with all living things.
Healthy soils, healthy plants, healthy animals. We take an Ecological Restoration approach towards conservation rather than that of a War on Weeds. We believe that soil is more than dirt and that it is the health of the complex ecosystem of soil organisms that we need to regain and maintain as the basis for ecosystem health. Our work contributes to an increasing literature supporting this view.
There are two key areas for our approach:
- Bush Regeneration: we seek to maximise habitat for all indigenous species (not just plants) and to contribute to the recognition of our place in the Australian environment.
- Public Spaces: we need to reduce environmental and community health risks during landscaping and management of our public spaces.
Our chemical-free goals
- Reframe the way we look at ‘weeds’ showing their beneficial aspects.
- Critique the ‘science’ behind herbicide-centred weed control programs.
- Provide a guide to the principles and practices of chemical-free land care.
- Document and celebrate the successful work being done by many across Australia using chemical-free approaches.
- Reduce the use of herbicides, now a major polluter of air, land and water and a threat to ecological and community health