Name of organisation: Peel-Harvey Catchment Council (PHCC)
Funding support: Government / Industry
Number of staff: 24
Number of visitors per year: Although not a conventional wetland centre, PHCC has recently engaged with over 5,000 per year.
Overall aims of the centre:
Our vision for the Peel-Harvey Catchment:
The Peel-Harvey catchment is once again a flourishing network of interconnected, productive landscapes, with diverse, healthy and resilient ecosystems, globally and locally recognised, acknowledged and embraced for its environmental significance. It is wisely managed by a community that values it – people working together for a healthy environment.
We are key agents for change towards a healthier Peel-Harvey catchment. As environmental stewards we will encourage and enable effective catchment management to create a healthier natural environment in the Peel-Harvey by:
- Building community education and capacity
- Influencing and leading critical thought and environmental pride
- Exemplifying and implementing best practice.
Description of the centre
We are a not-for-profit, community based Natural Resource Management organisation that promotes an integrated approach to catchment management and the way we protect and restore the environment within the Peel-Harvey catchment.
The catchment contains the Peel-Yalgorup System which is recognised under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands as Ramsar Site 482.
PHCC coordinates various projects that include priority on-ground restoration works addressing key threats for our wetlands as well as community engagement and education. We work closely with landholders including farmers and the broader community to build capacity and engage our community in wise use of wetlands, and with industry and the education sector to address key knowledge gaps. We also support citizen science projects including annual monitoring of waterbird populations that has been conducted with PHCC’s support since 2008 throughout Ramsar site 482.
Main CEPA work area
Community engagement (events, capacity building workshops, etc); citizen science; education (primary and high school excursions and incursions); advocacy and facilitation with all stakeholders relevant to wise use of wetlands.
Top three successes
Some of PHCC’s successes to date in engaging our community towards wise use of wetlands include:
· Coordination of the annual National Shorebird Count in the Peel-Yalgorup System along with count volunteers, local birdwatching groups and BirdLife WA since 2008.
· Delivery of two annual ‘Wetlands Weekender’ festivals in Mandurah that engaged with hundreds of community members, many of whom wouldn’t usually come to environmental themed events.
· Working collaboratively with Greenfields Primary School over a period of 6 years to date to take all students on excursions for hands-on learning around the wetlands of our catchment.
Top three challenges
· Working towards achieving complex and large scale behaviour change for the benefit of the wetlands, in particular the Ramsar Site 482 wetlands.
· Finding ways to engage with new audiences who are not yet interested in or knowledgeable about the wetlands.
· Protecting the values of the wetlands in the face of a rapidly increasing population and the associated change in land use.
Creating signage; site information; Producing written materials; Using audio-visual tools; Developing nature trails
Engaging young people; Engaging the local community; Working with volunteers
Education and communication
Delivering adult education; Working with primary schools; Working with secondary schools; Developing resources / materials; Advocating for good environmental outcomes
Auditing / assessing effectiveness; PR and marketing; Running effective administration; Health and safety; Fund-raising; Project planning.
Website address: https://peel-harvey.org.au/
Name, address: Charlie Jones, Community Engagement Coordinator – Wetlands and People
E-mail: Charlie Jones
Tel: T: +61 8 6369 8800
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