Short Virtual Presentation & Digital Poster 10th Australian Stream Management Conference 2021

Upper Mitta Mitta catchment action planning (#5)

Samuel Gitahi 1
  1. North East CMA, Wodonga, VIC, Australia

Why did you do it? Our Catchments Our Communities (OCOC) is a state-wide strategy for integrated catchment management in Victoria. The North East OCOC program focused on the Lower Ovens and Upper Mitta Mitta Heritage River catchments. The Upper Mitta catchment has relatively high recreational usage but the area has been impacted by clearing, overgrazing and invasive species. The purpose of the Catchment Action Plan (CAP) was to deliver NRM outcomes in a collaborative and effective way.

What did you do? The CAP development process entailed a desktop review and engagement with stakeholders to identify priority assets, values and threats as well as priority NRM actions. A steering committee provided project guidance.

What have you learned? The CAP process expanded the CMA footprint in the remote region. Catchment plans can be a useful tool for addressing catchment NRM threats, but a key prerequisite is ensuring the buy-in and participation of stakeholders. It was essential to address competing values and priorities between different sectors of the community. In addition, building on past processes helped reduce community engagement fatigue.

Why does it matter? The Upper Mitta Mitta catchment is an important biodiversity reservoir and one of the most critical headwaters of the Murray Darling Basin, contributing an estimated 10% of total inflows via Lake Dartmouth. It is therefore essential to enhance efforts to protect the catchment, particularly in the face of climate change. This can only happen when the community is playing a central role in its management.

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