The United Nations Association of Australia New South Wales (UNAA NSW) is delighted to announce that Landcare Australia has been selected as the recipient of the 2021 United Nations (UN) Day Honour.
The UNAA is the pre-eminent not-for-profit institution in Australia to promote the goals, and values of the United Nations. Established in 1946, its aim is to inform, inspire, and engage Australians regarding the critical work of the UN and to create a safer, fairer, more sustainable world. Around the world, UN Day is marked each year on 24 October to celebrate the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945.
UN Day Honour
As part of UNAA (NSW)’s UN Day celebrations, the prestigious UN Day Honour was created to recognise individuals or organisations in Australia that have made a significant contribution to the aims and objectives of the UN, for example in promoting peace, respect for human rights, equal opportunities, social justice and environmental sustainability.
Previous recipients include Ms Sam Mostyn AO (2020), Reconciliation Australia (2019), the Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG (2018) and the Australian Red Cross (2017).
2021 launch of the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration
2021 marks the start of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. It is a call to halt the degradation of ecosystems around the world and drive their protection and revival for the benefit of people and nature. The Decade will run to 2030, which is also the deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals and the timeline identified by scientists for preventing catastrophic climate change.
In recognition of this important decade and UNAA’s current focus on raising awareness about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, special consideration was given to nominees with a strong track record of achievement in the areas of ecosystem restoration and protection of biodiversity.
Landcare Australia nomination and contribution
From a select shortlist of nominees, Landcare Australia was endorsed by the UNAA NSW Executive Committee as the 2021 UN Honour recipient. This award is in recognition of Landcare Australia’s strong track record of supporting community-led, on-ground projects to restore, enhance and protect Australia’s unique natural environment. Their bold vision of ‘all Australians actively caring for the land and water that sustains us’ empowers individuals across Australia to build more resilient ecosystems and communities.
As a leading national not-for-profit organisation in the environmental sector for more than 30 years, Landcare Australia has supported thousands of landcare and other environmental volunteer groups in local communities across Australia to protect the environment through sustainable land management and conservation activities:
· Community engagement and cooperation
Landcare Australia has successfully supported a strong and diverse people-based movement encompassing Traditional Owners, landholders, farmers and volunteers who are actively engaged in local community-led environmental initiatives. Through its emphasis on cooperation in caring for the land, Landcare Australia supports over 5000 groups and 140,000 volunteers.
· SDG Partnerships
As demonstrated by its work with organisations like KPMG, Woolworths and Country Road, Landcare Australia embodies the values of Goal 17, Partnerships for the Goals, contributing directly towards the achievement of SDGs 6, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 by coordinating community involvement in erosion control, revegetation, weed control, and management of coastal and wetlands ecosystems across numerous projects.
· Bushfire recovery and resilience
Landcare Australia has played a key enabling role in relief and recovery efforts in bushfire and drought-impacted regions. Through the collaborative WIRES Landcare Australia Wildlife Relief and Recovery Grants program, $1.185 million was awarded to 64 environmental groups for activities including rainforest revegetation, installation of nest boxes for native species, feeding programs for endangered wildlife, management of invasive weeds, erosion control, and protection of waterways and aquatic habitat. Funded projects will build drought resilience and over 96,000 plants were planted to revegetate and create habitat for wildlife.
UNAA NSW considers that Landcare Australia’s efforts over 30 years in caring for country have made a significant and enduring contribution towards protecting ecosystems and regenerating nature in Australia, in line with global goals. By conferring the 2021 UN Honour upon Landcare Australia, UNAA acknowledges the contribution the organisation has made towards realising the UN’s 2050 Vision of a world living in harmony with nature.
Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, Landcare Australia will be presented with the Honour at a formal in-person event to be held in 2022 at NSW Parliament House. More details to follow.