All the very best to you this Christmas season, we thank you for your support and hope to continue to exist in 2012, though this will depend on securing funding to keep our work going. For the past eighteen months everything you see on this website has been done through volunteer labour and, to be honest, this is not sustainable. We are hoping to get some support for our work in 2012 but we really need you to help us with ideas, support and a commitment to collaboration and knowledge sharing.
We are ending 2011 reasonably cheery as we believe what we are doing is worthwhile and we love working with people who are passionate about our rivers. Rest, refresh and reinvigorate yourselves over the Christmas break and we look forward to working with you in 2012.
We would like to say a particular thanks to those that have worked as part of the ARRC team over the past year – Vikki Bell, Allison Mortlock, Melissa Gabelle, Matt Moore, Peter Rennie, Graham Durant-Law, Richard Snashall, Bruce Boyes, Sandra DeSouza, Phil Price, Ian Rutherfurd, Peter Davies (WA) and Leith Boully.
Siwan and Nerida
Support and funding for the reinvigoration of the NRM Navigator, NRM Evidence Bases and River Rap Publication
Oh to have a large amount of funding to enable us to reinvigorate great knowledge sharing products like the NRM Navigator, NRM e-Base (both developed through the former Knowledge for Regional NRM Program) and a new River Rap (based on the old National Riparian Lands R&D Program RipRap) publication. We would welcome any ideas on how we can secure funding for these products as we are finding that most funding ‘buckets’ tend not to cover maintaining and building relationships and networks, or supporting ongoing resources for science and research knowledge sharing infrastructure.
If we could get these products back out and doing what they do best – sharing knowledge, fostering relationships and building networks, the ARRC could have a secure future. If you have any input, ideas on how we can make this happen please get in touch with us. You might also like to think about sponsoring the first edition of River Rap which could feature work you and your organisations are doing.
Siwan and Nerida
A few weeks ago I had the privilege of facilitating a workshop examining the role of Water Trusts in Australia. The ARRC co-convened the workshop with the Water Trust Alliance*. Water trusts have existed for at least 10 years in Australia, and form part of the institutional landscape for environmental water management. They are similar in purpose to long established models of land trusts, and exist to manage water for, and on behalf of, their members or stakeholders. A well established model in the United States, they provide a mechanism for engaging with the communities in which they operate, whilst providing a rigorous framework for responsibly and accountably managing water assets.
The workshop brought together people from non-government, government, and research organisations with an interest in exploring the role that water trusts can play in the future management of environmental water assets and focused on the following four areas:
1. Describe the water trust models that currently operate in Australia;
2. Identify the advantages and shortcomings of existing water trust models;
3. Understand the challenges, opportunities and capacities of water trusts; and
4. Discuss key features of future regional water trust models that connect government, community and business.
It was a great day with lots of lively conversation and a positive ‘vibe’ which was terrific to be a part of. Mark Siebentritt (Healthy Rivers Australia), Deb Nias (Murray-Darling Wetlands Limited) and colleagues are now going to prepare a paper summarising the issues and opportunities identified in the workshop, so please stay in touch with the ARRC to hear what comes next in the Water Trust story.
If you would like to learn more about the Water Trust Alliance follow this link and scroll down the page the link takes you to, to find more information about this group.
* Water Trust Alliance members are Australian Conservation Foundation, Murray-Darling Association, Murray Darling Wetlands Limited, Nature Foundation of SA, Healthy Rivers Australia, and the Environmental Water Trust established by Nature Conservation Council NSW.
The workshop was sponsored by Commonwealth Environmental Water, Murray-Darling Basin Authority and Murray-Darling Wetlands Limited
The Living Murray story is a recent chapter in the history of managing the Murray River. It is an attempt to restore the health of the Murray River by returning water to the environment and building water management structures to deliver water to the Murray’s wetlands, floodplains and forests.
The Living Murray story also highlights the people behind the program and contains quotes from some of the many people who have worked to make the vision of the program a reality.
This book will be of interest to those who continue to use, visit, or be inspired by this great river. It is freely available as a hardcopy and you can order it by following this ‘Living Murray Story’ link.
A friend of mine recently sent me an email recommending that I watch this TED talk by Bunker Roy. I am so glad I did, as the talk is inspirational and highlights the many different forms of ‘knowledge’ that exist, and the reality that in western societies we tend to dismiss knowledge if it is not codified in a book, or passed on to us by someone who has an official degree.
Bunker Roy has set up ‘Barefoot Colleges’ across India, Africa, Afghanistan and other parts of the world where people are trying to improve their quality of life. Roy is a firm believer in knowledge gained through experience, and his talk provides some incredible examples of local people with no formal education developing solar, hydro and other community projects.
I really recommend you watch or download the pod cast for this wonderful talk which has a personal relevance to me, as my mother Jinnie is currently working in a school in Purkal, India where she is volunteering her time to develop science curricula about climate change, the environment and water – go Mum!! Link to Bunker Roy TED talk.