Australia: Environmental Regulators, Managers Learn About Earth Charter

When John Goldsmith, a natural resources professional based in Perth, Australia, realized that few of his colleagues knew about the Earth Charter, he decided to introduce it at an annual gathering that brought his whole network together, which has since been turned into a resource document on “The Earth Charter and Natural Resource Management in Australia” [Download file, PDF 140 KB].

Introduction: Australian Environmental Protection

In Australia, Natural Resource Management (NRM) is being supported by major national programs including the $3 billion Natural Heritage Trust and the $1.4 billion National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality. These programs represent the biggest financial commitment to environmental action in Australia’s history. Together they are playing an important role in protecting and enhancing Australia’s unique biodiversity, the viability of rural and regional communities and the future of agricultural industries.

The implementation of these programs is supported through 56 NRM regions, which cover the entire Australian continent. All of the 56 NRM regions are progressively developing strategies and investment plans.

The National NRM Facilitators network provides key services to the Australian Government and regional NRM organisations. The network is comprised of more than 100 key sustainability and environmental professionals. The network has met on a national basis about twice a year since 2003.

Raising Awareness of the Earth Charter

“My role is as Strategic Regional Natural Resource Management (NRM) Facilitator, based in Perth, Western Australia for the Swan Catchment Council.

I was surprised at the apparent low level of awareness within the national NRM network regarding the Earth Charter. So I hosted an Earth Charter briefing session and discussion at our national NRM facilitators forum in 2005. This led to the Earth Charter being introduced to the National NRM Network, and the inclusion of the briefing paper in the forum proceedings. I feel this is just a first step in bringing the Earth Charter to fellow NRM facilitators.”

The National NRM Facilitators Forum, October 2005, Melbourne, Australia. © Australian Government 2005.