Country Road and Landcare: protecting biodiversity in Australia’s cotton landscapes

Australian cotton industry supports projectto protect biodiversity in Australia’s c ottonl andscapesCotton Australia and the Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC) are supportinga partnership between iconic Australian brands Country Road and Landcare Australia to improvebiodiversity on cotton farms in the Namoi Valley of NSW.

Funded by a corporate contribution and funds raised via the sale of its famous Verified AustralianCotton Heritage Sweats, Country Road will contribute a minimum $600,000 to the partnershipover three years, with funds raised going to Landcare Australia to support biodiversity restorationprojects.

Landcare Australia CEO, Dr Shane Norrish, says “Landcare Aus tralia is very proud to launch thispartnership with Country Road and the Australian cotton industry to develop projects focused onbiodiversity conservation with cotton farmers. The projects will help to restore local ecosystemsand contribute to the sust ainable management and productivity of the landscape.

“The partnership is a powerful example of how Landcare Australia brings together organisationsto work on projects that will have a meaningful impact for farmers, the environment and the localcommuni ty. We are very pleased to be working with Country Road, the Australian cotton industryand cotton growers on biodiversity projects that will protect habitat for a range of native plantsand animals, including threatened species.”The partnership will draw on a Cotton Research and Development (CRDC) report that mappedbiodiversity in Australian cotton landscapes, identified threatened and endangered species andrecommended ways to protect them. This was achieved with support from the AustralianGovernment’s National Landcare Program Smart Farming Partnership Initiative Round 1.

The initial project will be implemented by the Kahl family in the Namoi Valley, NSW – a regionsignificantly affected by biodiversity loss and in need of restora tion. Third generation cottonfarmers, the Kahl family will participate in the program by revegetating a river system that flowsthrough their property and excluding stock to increase habitat and shelter for native animals.

reduce erosion and improve wate r quality.

Farmers in the area will be engaged in future rounds of funding, and all farmers and industryrepresentatives can actively help by purchasing a Country Road Verified Australian CottonHeritage Sweat online.

According to Cotton Australia, biodiversity is an important area of sustainability work for theindustry and will be a focus in coming years following the release of industry wide sustainabilitytargets.

2″This is an incredibly exciting opportunity and the first time a corpor ate partner has come onboard to directly support our biodiversity work on farm. We hope the funds from Country Road.

and the support of Landcare Australia will help further engage our growers in biodiversityactivities,” Cotton Australia CEO, Adam Kay said.

“We know from the research that our farms provide critical habitat for Australia’s native plantsand animals, and when managed well these areas also bring benefits to the farm by providingnatural pest control, improving soil health and storing and sequestering carbon.

The Australian cotton industry is also adding to the launch project in other ways.

“This includes a five -hectare research trial by the University of New England to investigate whichrevegetation methods have the greatest survival rates on floodplain soils as well as the initialbiodiversity mapping work which helps identify target areas for biodiversity enhancement works,”CRDC natural resource R&D Manager, Ms Stacey Vogel said.

“Cotton industry research shows that while there have bee n some great steps forward, more needsto be done to protect and improve biodiversity on cotton farms and adjacent landscapes.

“We hope this partnership with Landcare Australia and Country Road will help focus industryefforts, accelerate our biodiversity work and provide a lasting legacy for our farmers, theircommunities and the natural environment,” she said.

>Learn about the project at www.countryroad.com.au/e ditorials-the -biodiversity -project/and www.countryroad.com.au/our -world/land/the -biodiversity -project -with -landcare-australia/.

Purchase a Country Road Verified Australian Cotton Heritage Sweat online: womens.

mens, childrens.

Cotton Australia is the peak body forAustralia’s cotton growers.

www.cottonaustralia.com.auCotton Australia

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