NGT wins the offset program award at SER2023 Conference in Darwin
At the recent Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) International Conference in Darwin, I had the privilege of representing NGT and our ongoing work with the Minyumai Land Holding Aboriginal Corporation, who own and manage the Minyumai Indigenous Protected Area in northern NSW within Bandjalang Country, as a finalist in the SER2023 conference offset program.
The offset program was developed by the conference Organising Committee, in an effort to address the environmental impact of the conference, especially of the in person component of SER2023. As a result, a percentage of the conference expense budget was set aside for voluntary environmental offsets, to be delivered through on-ground (or in-water) ecological restoration in Australia. The 1000 international conference delegates voted on the three finalists to determine the winner of the offsets program, which was announced on the final day of the conference.
Throughout the conference, it was great to catch up with a wide range of amazing people from all over the world. For example, I had some fascinating conversations comparing notes with peatland restoration practitioners from Latvia and Norway, and we realised very quickly that – despite being on opposite sides of the world – we have a lot in common and that our methods, approaches and lessons learned through experimentation were actually quite similar.
It was also nice to see lots of familiar faces of people active in environmental restoration in Australia. Among them was fellow offset program finalist and long-term friend of NGT, Damien Cook from Wetland Revival Trust, who is shown with me below in the offset program booth. The third finalist was the Kent Street Sand Pit Restoration Project in Perth.
NGT’s Ben Taylor, who is our lead Senior Ecologist on the Minyumai IPA floodplain restoration project, and Wetland Ecologist Tessa Roberts who also has fantastic graphic design skills, prepared NGT’s poster for sharing the finer details of the project with conference delegates. The poster can be downloaded here, but is also shown below in the pdf viewer, noting that you will need to use the zoom feature to read the details!Minyumai-Conference-Poster-A0_V1-trimmed-v2
Fast forward to the final session on the last day of the conference, and it was a real thrill when Renee Young, from the SER2023 Organising Committee, announced that conference delegates had voted NGT’s Minyumai IPA floodplain restoration project as the winner of the offset program,
It was also announced that 60% of conference offset funds would be provided to support the winning project, while the other two finalists were awarded 20% of the funds each – an excellent outcome that now sees all three ecological restoration projects receive additional financial support.
On behalf of NGT, I’d like to thank the SER2023 Organising Committee for the opportunity to showcase our work and for putting together a fantastic program. In closing, I’d also like to say how proud we are to be working with Bandjalang people at the Minyumai IPA, where the funds will help us fulfil their vision for the site by directly support floodplain restoration works.