Last week I attended a three day positive psychology course run by Dr Timothy Sharp from The Happiness Institute. Now before you think I am going all ‘touchy and feely’ I want to reassure you that positive psychology is an academic discipline that focuses on what makes people ‘happy’, rather than the traditional approach of trying to ‘fix’ people who are sad. At the ARRC we believe people are valuable natural resources, so this course was a great way for me to tap back into the latest thinking on how we can create workplaces and assist individuals to feel happy in the work they do.
Over the next few months I will be developing some new training materials and ideas about how we can use Dr Sharp’s research to help, support and celebrate people working in NRM. In the meantime, if you are interested in learning more, click here to find out about how to C.H.O.O.S.E. Happiness, go to The Happiness Institute website, and stay tuned to the ARRC for opportunities to apply these teachings in your professional and personal life.
On Friday the 23rd of July, Wetland Care celebrated its 19 year old birthday. This great organisation is dedicated to protecting and restoring Australian wetlands and inspiring others to get involved.
Wetland Care focuses on building capacity and providing ongoing support to over 16,000 volunteers, community groups, landholders and natural resource managers working to protect and rehabilitate wetlands across the country. Together, these people have conserved, restored and sustainably managed over 175,000ha of Australia’s functioning wetland ecosystems and their catchments, and assisted wetland managers in rehabilitation planning through mapping and assessing over 1,480,000ha of wetlands across New South Wales and Queensland.
Well done to all the staff, Board and volunteers … and Happy Birthday Wetland Care!
A new Knowledge and Information Framework outlining how regional natural resource management (NRM) knowledge and information needs across Queensland can be better managed has been released by the Regional Groups Collective (RGC), which represents the state-wide interests of the 14 regional NRM bodies in Queensland. To download the framework click here or visit the Collective Projects page of the RGC website.
The collaborative online wiki www.collections.org.au has also been established to document NRM projects and facilitate knowledge and information sharing for NRM groups.
Thanks to Twitter (yet again) I was alerted to this amazing web site called I count for my earth and videos on water. The video is called “Tapped” and covers everything from chemicals (including endocrine disrupting chemicals) in the water, to the amount of landfill created each year by plastic bottles used for selling drinking water. From plastic bottle production to the public’s right for water – this video has it all. Even though it is a US based site it is well worth a look.
After ploughing my way through this site I thought it was important to revisit a major piece of research undertaken by Land & Water Australia (LWA) on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in the Australian Riverine Environment by M Williams, M Woods, A Kumar and R Kookana. This report looks at evidence of endocrine disruption in wildlife populations, including skewed sex ratios, abnormal development of gonads and reproductive failure in exposed populations of aquatic organisms. Of particular interest are compounds including steroidal hormones, alkylphenols (degradates of non-ionic surfactants), phthalates (“plasticisers”), pesticides and organometals that have endocrine disrupting potency. This research is now being continued by CSIRO and was one of the fascinating papers presented at the recent ‘Knowledge for managing Australian landscapes‘ conference.
The Australian Government is supporting the Landcare community to develop an Australian Framework for Landcare to guide Landcare over the next 20 years. The development of the Australian Framework for Landcare is your opportunity to have a say about the way forward for Landcare. The submission period to comment on the draft Australian Framework for Landcare is currently open and will close on 30 July 2010.
Community Landcare is made up of individuals and groups with similar objectives and a community based approach to sustainable resource management, including:
- Indigenous groups
- ‘Friends of’ groups
- Farming systems groups.
Community Landcare will guide and own the framework.
Initial framework meeting
The community development of an Australian Framework for Landcare was initiated at a workshop held in Melbourne on 30 April 2009, with a small cross section of community Landcarers. It was enthusiastically agreed that the first community-driven framework should be developed.
The Framework has been drafted by the Australian Framework for Landcare Reference Group which is made up of Landcare community members. The reference group has been working to ensure that views expressed by the Landcare community during the extensive community consultation period are accurately reflected in the Framework document. The consultation period commenced in April 2009 and concluded with discussions at the recent National Landcare Forum. The process for the development of the framework has been fully supported by the Australian Government.
Have your say
Comments on the draft Australian Framework for Landcare are welcome and you can have your say online. The submission period is currently open and will close on 30 July 2010.
More information on the Australian Framework for Landcare, including input from all state and territory conferences, is available from the National Landcare Facilitator.