About the East Gippsland Rainforest CMN
The East Gippsland Rainforest CMN was formed in 2006 with the aim of increasing the amount of rainforest and associated vegetation types subject to restoration, conservation and permanent protection in East Gippsland.
Three key objectives underline our work:
- provide and maintain a properly structured and operational organisation to service its members and other key stakeholders
- promote information sharing, awareness and education
- restore and manage rainforest and associated vegetation site
- The establishment and maintenance of an active network of people who share a common interest in rainforest and associated vegetation types in East Gippsland.
- Promotion of community and government awareness to the unique and important contribution that rainforests and associated vegetation types make to the regions biodiversity;
- To increase the number and area of rainforest sites that are permanently protected and actively managed through a range of mechanisms
- Facilitation of information sharing and educational opportunities to enhance network participants and community understanding of rainforests ecosystems and their management.
- Development of projects to restore, maintain and manage rainforests ecosystems. (This includes all aspects of project management including funding acquisition, project identification, planning, implementation and monitoring.)
- To broaden membership of the Network to include all private and public land managers.
- East Gippsland retains some of the most significant stands of rainforest left in Victoria that have both state and national significance.
All of the rainforests of the East Gippsland UDF study area are threatened, and many provide habitat for both Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999)-listed plants and Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act (2988)-listed plants and animals.
Much of this rainforest estate has been cleared and all of the rainforest vegetation is either listed as threatened under State’s Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act (1988) (the Warm Temperate Rainforest floristic communities) or is in the final stages of the nomination process (the Littoral Rainforest floristic communities) under the Federal Environmental Protection and Biodiversity and Conservation Act (1999).
The Council (and by extension the community that it represents) has obligations under these acts of Parliament to conserve these threatened rainforest communities as well as their threatened plants and animals.
In Victoria, rainforests conserve 4% of the states plant diversity (30% of which are rare and threatened species), despite occupying less than 0.14% of the State’s land area.
- Rainforests are excellent water processors and have been proven locally to strip up to 70% of the phosphorous from surface storm water and 88% from ground water. This works best in streams of up to third order (which matches all of the stream orders of the gully systems in the UDF study area);
- Rainforests are fire retardant and so their presence in the urban environment is a benefit in this regard;
- Rainforests consist of species that are restricted in the landscape that can only be conserved by protecting rainforests and their fringing ecotones;
- Rainforest on or adjacent to properties is a major selling point for real estate;
- Rainforests enable urban kids to experience the bush with relative safety near to home;
- Rainforests enhance recreational opportunities (picnicking, nature study, bird-watching, bush walking etc.); and
- Rainforests contribute to improved landscape amenity.
What is a Conservation Management Network (CMN)?
A Conservation Management Network (CMN) is a network of remnants of native vegetation, their owners or managers and other interested individuals. CMNs usually focus on a single ecological community (e.g. grassy ecosystems), because the management needs of each community are relatively uniform. An important purpose of CMNs is to assist landholders and land managers in the management of remnants.
The Gippsland Region of Victoria has two CMNs: The Gippsland Plains CMN and The East Gippsland Rainforest CMN.
Members of a CMN include:
- interested private landholders
- managers of remnant vegetation on public land
- other interested community members
Why do we need CMNs?
Managing the threatened vegetation that remains in agricultural landscapes has been described as one of Australia’s greatest environmental challenges. Vegetation often occurs as small, isolated patches and can be owned and managed by various agencies. Managing those remnants for the best biodiversity outcome is difficult for one agency. The CMN facilitates best management across land tenures.