THE launch of Peel-Harvey Catchment Council’s Wetlands and People’s Plan at Dawesville today was a “watershed moment”.
Catchment council chairman Andy Gulliver described the launch as a “dream about where we can go from here”.
The plan, launched by Professor Lyn Beazley, is Australia’s first Communication, Capacity Building, Education, Participation and Awareness action plan for a Ramsar-listed site and promotes communication, education, participation and awareness of the Peel-Yalgorup Wetland System after consultation with a host of stakeholders.
The Ramsar Site 482 wetlands, including Peel-Harvey Estuary, Lakes Clifton and Mealup and the lands and lakes of Yalgorup National Park are recognised as wetlands of international significance under the Ramsar Convention, a treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands.
To develop the plan, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council convened an expert panel of representatives from government, tourism, education, marketing, environment, planning and the community.
Extensive consultation was held to ensure stakeholders contributed to, and understood their responsibilities in implementing the plan.
The plan has been developed to encourage government, community and industry to become even more involved in the care and management of the Peel-Yalgorup wetlands which face many threats.
It recommends actions to raise awareness of the system’s values and is targeted at three main groups – those who use the wetlands, those with businesses that benefit from the wetlands and those who make decisions that affect the wetlands.
The groups include both local users and visitors.
A copy of the plan, partly funded by LotteryWest, will be distributed to all stakeholders who have a role in meeting the plan’s goals.