The sustainable management of our precious landscapes – soil, water, pest plants and animals, and biodiversity – is the responsibility of all South Australians. By working together we can support our landscapes to thrive and build resilience to, and recover from, natural disasters like drought and bushfire. Among other benefits, it also helps to promote prosperous long-term businesses, thriving native species and ecosystems and resilient communities.
The South Australian Government has reformed how our landscapes are managed by putting community at the heart of sustainably managing their regions’ natural resources, with the support and expertise of local landscape boards. Underpinning this approach is the Landscape South Australia Act 2019 (the Act), which repealed the Natural Resources Management Act 2004 on 1 July 2020. Eight regional landscape boards and a metropolitan board, Green Adelaide, administers the Act across nine landscape management regions.
The boards support local communities and land managers to be directly responsible for managing their region’s natural resources with an emphasis on land and water management, biodiversity and pest animal and plant control. They also partner with government and regional communities to deliver a strong, back-to-basics system that’s autonomous and flexible in response to their regions’ needs.
There are nine landscape management regions in South Australia, governed by eight landscape boards and a metropolitan board, Green Adelaide. The landscape boards work alongside Green Adelaide, which provides an integrated approach to managing Adelaide’s urban environment. Landscape boards consist of seven members, including a chair. All members have been appointed by the Minister, but from 2022 three members will be elected by the community (except in regions where it is determined special circumstances apply, such as the Alinytjara Wilurara board and the specialist Green Adelaide board).
The boards work with community members and stakeholders to develop simple and accessible five-year regional landscape plans with five priorities. The plans aims to ensure that there is a balance between the needs of regional communities and the sustainable management of the environment. Other key functions include development of water allocation plans for prescribed water resources, where applicable, and operating as the relevant authority for a range of water, land protection and animal and plant control activities.
The Aboriginal perspective of landscape management is commonly known as ‘caring for country’ and is an integrated and holistic approach. For Aboriginal people, the environment, economy, society and culture are not separate but are one, inextricably and seamlessly linked.