Projects

O'Connor NRM have extensive project experience in:

The breadth of project experience covers the full project management cycle for natural resource management projects and has resulted in the team developing highly integrated skills in program support. Our interest in optimal decision-making and cost-effectiveness has involved us in learning from and streamlining many projects.

Research Projects

Nomination of Mt Lofty Ranges Swamps for listing as a threatened ecological community. O'Connor NRM gathered and synthesised information from literature, unpublished reports, expert knowledge and workshops to describe the ecological community and identify its characteristics, distribution and threats.  Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, South Australia

Knowledge Review of Grey Box Grassy Woodlands in the Southern Mount Lofty Ranges. O’Connor NRM summarised available information from literature, unpublished reports, expert interviews and workshops on the management of Grey Box Grassy Woodlands. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, South Australia

Kangaroo Grazing Impact Baseline Monitoring Survey – Deep Creek Conservation Park. O’Connor NRM assessed vegetation condition in Deep Creek Conservation Park to assess current grazing impacts and assess changes after management intervention. Department for Environment and Heritage, South Australia

Compilation of Vegetation Clearance History Data for South Australia. O’Connor NRM compiled a complete database of vegetation clearance history since settlement for all hundreds in South Australia. Department for Environment and Heritage, South Australia

Web-based Database to Manage Meta-data on NRM-related Research for Regional NRM in South Australia. O’Connor NRM assisted InFusion Consulting to develop a web-based database to manage meta-data on NRM-related research for regional NRM in the SA Murray-Darling Basin. The project developed a process to capture existing grey literature into the database and compiled research meta-data from NRM and research agencies. South Australian Regional Natural Resource Management Boards

 

Planning Projects

Strategic Planning for Nature Play SA. O'Connor NRM facilitated a strategic planning process for Nature Play SA. Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, South Australia

South Australian Community Landcare Plan. O'Connor NRM prepared the Community Landcare Plan for South Australia. Landcare Association of South Australia.

Creek Connections: Restoring Biodiversity Connectivity on Adelaide's Waterways. O’Connor NRM worked with councils in the East of Adelaide to develop a proposal for ecological restoration of urban waterways. The proposal was submitted to the Australian Government’s Biodiversity Fund. Eastern Regional Alliance & Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resource Management Board

Program Logics for Business Unit Management. O’Connor NRM worked with the SA MDB NRM Board Business Unit Managers to develop and refine program logics for the 2011-12 program of investment. This project will lead into the development of evaluation plans for individual Business Units. South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resource Management Board

Financial Incentives for Biodiversity Conservation in Israel. O’Connor NRM provided advice to a forum of Israeli conservation policy makers on the potential for use of market-based mechanisms to achieve conservation goals in Israel. Milken Institute, Israel

Vegetation Information Framework for South Australia. O’Connor NRM developed a framework for improving vegetation information and mapping to meet current and future business needs. Department for Environment and Heritage, South Australia

Target-setting for the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin NRM Plan. O’Connor NRM facilitated workshops of strategic and technical experts to develop program logics and a set of targets for the SAMDB NRM Plan. South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resource Management Board

Mapping Research Capabilities for Climate Change Impact and Adaptation Research. O’Connor NRM worked with InFusion Consulting to map the capabilities of researchers in South Australia against a set of research themes derived from documents on climate change impact and adaptation at the state, national and international level. Centre for Natural Resource Management, South Australia

Development of Program Logic and Targets for the South Australian Arid Lands. O’Connor NRM facilitated and documented the development of program logics and targets for the SAAL NRM Plan. South Australian Arid Lands Natural Resource Management Board

Development of program logic for the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for NRM in South Australia. O’Connor NRM facilitated the development of the program logic for the STI Strategy for NRM. Department for Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation, South Australia

Integrated Regional NRM Research Plan and Prospectus, SA MDB NRM Board. O’Connor NRM assisted InFusion Consulting to develop an integrated regional research plan for the region. South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Integrated Natural Resource Management Board

Target-setting Guidelines for Regional NRM Boards in South Australia. O’Connor NRM in collaboration with Hyder Consulting and Clear Horizon evaluated the targets and target-setting processes for regional NRM Boards in South Australia. The evaluation was used as the foundation for development of guidelines for setting targets within program logics for regional NRM. Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation, South Australia

Review and Framework Development for Community-based Monitoring in the SAMDB. O’Connor NRM and InFusion Consulting undertook a review of community-based monitoring of natural resources in the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin to determine the scope, potential and limitations of these monitoring programs and the data they produce. From this review a framework for community-based monitoring was developed. South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resource Management Board

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Monitoring Projects

Vegetation Condition in the SA Murray-Darling Basin. With the Nature Conservation Society of SA, O'Connor measured 20 new vegetation condition monitoring sites and analysed and reported on vegetation condition from a network of over 650 monitoring sites in the region. Natural Resources South Australian Murray-Darling Basin

Monitoring the Performance of Vegetation Management in the SA Murray-Darling Basin. With the Nature Conservation Society of SA, O'Connor investigated the performance of vegetation management in the region. Natural Resources South Australian Murray-Darling Basin

‘Change Exchange’ Forum for Regional Discussion of Participatory Monitoring. O’Connor NRM facilitates the regional Change Exchange; an exchange and discussion on changes in natural resource condition observed by participatory monitoring programs in the SA Murray-Darling Basin region. South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resource Management Board

Informing Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Improvement (MERI) Prioritisation. O’Connor NRM prepared a discussion paper on best-practice MERI approaches in the non-water sector, with a focus on biodiversity conservation examples. National Water Commission

Biodiversity Monitoring with Birds in the SAMDB. O’Connor NRM is collaborating with the Nature Conservation Society of SA to develop a bird monitoring framework which allows the region to measure changes in biodiversity, particularly changes resulting from direct investments in land management for conservation..South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resource Management Board

Monitoring Design Training for Regional NRM Officers. O’Connor NRM provided training to regional NRM officers in concepts and practice for monitoring in NRM. South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resource Management Board

Using Community  Monitoring in NRM Planning in the SA Murray-Darling Basin. O’Connor NRM reviewed community monitoring programs to develop a framework to use this collected data in NRM planning and evaluation.  South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resource Management Board

Vegetation Condition Change Through Comprehensive Management. O’Connor NRM has monitored and analysed change in vegetation condition resulting from five years of investment through a conservation auction in South Australia. Nature Conservation Society of South Australia Inc

Improved Reporting on Increased Native Habitat and Vegetation (INHV) under Caring for Our Country. O’Connor NRM undertook evaluation of current approaches to monitoring and evaluation of contributions towards the INHV target in projects funded by Caring for Our Country. The project included reporting on activities to enable reporting on the INHV target and recommendations for achieving a consistent monitoring approach in Caring for Our Country  Department of Environment, Water Heritage and the Arts, Australian Government

Kielpa to Coast Soil Conservation Outcome Monitoring. O’Connor NRM and the University of Adelaide used remote sensing to determine soil cover changes as a result of changed land management practices in the Kielpa to Coast Soil Conservation project. Eyre Peninsula Natural Resource Management Board

Fox Monitoring Analysis and Redesign – Eyre Peninsula. O’Connor NRM analysed fox, rabbit and kangaroo monitoring data to inform design of control programs and design of ongoing monitoring. Eyre Peninsula Natural Resource Management Board

Bushland Condition Monitoring in the Mount Lofty Ranges. O’Connor NRM worked with the Nature Conservation Society of SA to analyse and describe the current network of native vegetation monitoring sites and vegetation condition assessed using the Bushland Condition Monitoring Method. Nature Conservation Society of South Australia Inc

Making monitoring meaningful. Field S. A., P.J. O’Connor, A. J. Tyre and H.P. Possingham Austral Ecology 32; 485–491. This paper explores key constraints and solutions to improve  monitoring in conservation.

Community Monitoring Toolkit. O’Connor NRM developed specific templates and examples of tools for optimising community-based monitoring effort. The tools cover the full cycle of monitoring activities – planning, design, method, QA/QC, analysis, interpretation, communication as well as project evaluation. South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resource Management Board

Review and Requirements Analysis of Monitoring Datasets for the Northern and Yorke and Eyre Peninsula NRM Regions. O’Connor NRM worked with the University of Adelaide to develop a framework for biodiversity monitoring based on review of decision drivers, developed a GIS and undertook a review of data quality and a gap analysis to determine the adequacy of existing datasets to enable evaluation of biodiversity change. Northern and Yorke and Eyre Peninsula Natural Resource Management Board

Guidelines for the Planning, Design & Implementation of Natural Resource Management Trials. O’Connor NRM wrote a book of ‘Guidelines for the Planning, Design & Implementation of Natural Resource Management Trials’. The book provides a step-by-step approach to developing a statistically robust trial design for natural resource managers who are not statisticians. The guidelines use a set of natural resource management examples to illustrate the principles and practice of undertaking quality trials. For the Local Action Planning Associations through The University of Adelaide.

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Evaluation Projects

Evaluation of Capacity Building activities. O'Connor NRM reviewed participant evaluation data collected from events conducted by the Capacity Building program of NR SAMDB from 2008-2014 and made recommendations on future evaluation approaches for the program. Natural Resources South Australian Murray-Darling Basin

Program logic and evaluation planning workshop for SA Marine Parks. O'Connor NRM facilitated a workshop to develop a program logic and evaluation framework for South Australian Marine Parks. Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources Management, South Australia

Evaluation and Needs Analysis for NatureLinks South Australia. O’Connor NRM used a participatory evaluation approach to evaluate the achievements and challenges in implementing the NatureLinks landscape conservation philosophy and principles in South Australia between 2002 & 2014. Department for the Environment, Water and Natural Resources, South Australia

Monitoring and Evaluation of Stream 2 of the Regional NRM Planning for Climate Change Fund. O’Connor NRM is working with Clear Horizon Pty Ltd to develop and implement monitoring and evaluation of how research under Stream 2 of the Regional NRM Planning for Climate Change Fund is impacting regional NRM planning. Department of the Environment, Australian Government

Land Management Devolved Grants Program Evaluation. O’Connor NRM led a participatory evaluation of the efficiency and appropriateness of design of the land management devolved grants program of the South Australian Arid Lands Natural Resource Management Board 

Evaluation of the BushTender Program in Victoria. O’Connor NRM undertook an evaluation of the effectiveness, efficiency and ongoing appropriateness of the BushTender conservation auction program. Department for Sustainability and Environment, Victoria

Regional Outcome Reporting. O’Connor NRM worked with the SA MDB NRM Board to design and facilitate an evaluation process to report outcomes from investment through NRM programs in the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin. South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resource Management Board

MERI Planning for Bringing Back Warru. O’Connor NRM prepared a MERI Plan for the Bringing Back Warru project as part of the Warru Recovery Plan. Alinytjara Wilurara Natural Resource Management Board

Development of a Monitoring and Evaluation Plan for the ‘Communities for Nature’ Program. O’Connor NRM developed a monitoring and evaluation plan and tools for evaluation in and of the Communities for Nature grants program. Department for Sustainability and Environment, Victoria

Learning and Reflection from Sub-regional Investment. O’Connor NRM worked with the SA MDB NRM Board to re-design and facilitate an evaluation process to understand outcomes from investment through sub-regional NRM projects in the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin. South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resource Management Board

Evaluation of Progress towards Management Action Targets (MATs) in the SAMDB. O’Connor NRM facilitated evaluation workshops across eleven themes of NRM activity to determine progress towards MATs and issues with achieving and reporting existing targets. South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resource Management Board

Capacity Building Evaluation Tools for NRM on Eyre Peninsula. O’Connor NRM designed tools for measuring changes in capacity of participants in knowledge and skill development activities held by the NRM Board. The tools include a framework for evaluation of capacity building, measurement approaches and a guide to analysis of capacity building evaluation data. Eyre Peninsula Natural Resource Management Board

Evaluation of the implementation of the BushBroker Biodiversity Credit Trading Scheme. O’Connor NRM evaluated the effectiveness of processes during the implementation phase of the BushBroker project, assessing both landholder and developer experiences. Department for Sustainability and Environment, Victoria

Evaluation of Capacity Building and Pest Management Outcomes from the Wheel Cactus Control Program in the Flinders Ranges. O’Connor NRM evaluated the outcomes from a program aimed at controlling Wheel Cactus in the Blinman/Parachilna area of the Flinders Ranges South Australian Arid Lands Natural Resource Management Board

Evaluation of the Victorian Volcanic Plains Program – PlainsTender. O’Connor NRM worked with Clear Horizon to undertake a Performance Story Report evaluation of the natural resource management outcomes from investment of NHT funds through the PlainsTender conservation tender. Department of Environment, Water Heritage and the Arts, Australian Government

Evaluation of Outback to the Ocean – Seven NRM Projects in the SAMDB. O’Connor NRM evaluated the natural resource management outcomes from investment of NHT funds through seven projects focused on biodiversity, sustainable farm practice and community engagement. Department of Environment, Water Heritage and the Arts, Australian Government

Learning and Reflection from Sub-regional Investment. O’Connor NRM worked with the SA MDB NRM Board to design and facilitate a novel evaluation process to understand outcomes from investment through sub-regional NRM projects in the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin. South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resource Management Board

Coorong and Districts Local Action Planning Association Caring for Our Country MERI Plan. O’Connor NRM worked with Rural Solutions to develop the Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Improvement plan for Caring for Our Country projects. Coorong and Districts Local Action Planning Association

Evaluation of the Southern Emu-wren and Fleurieu Swamps Recovery Project in the AMLR region. O’Connor NRM worked with Clear Horizon to undertake an evaluation of the natural resource management outcomes from the Southern Emu-wren and Fleurieu Swamps Recovery Project in the AMLR region. The evaluation used Performance Story Reporting methodology, incorporating a Most Significant Change methodology. Department of Environment, Water Heritage and the Arts, Australian Government

Evaluation of the Daintree Conservation Initiative and the Cassowary Conservation Stewardship Projects in North Queensland. O’Connor NRM evaluated the implementation of conservation extension and incentive projects in the wet tropics. Department of Environment and Water Resources, Australian Government

Evaluation of On-ground Incentives Program. O’Connor NRM assisted the evaluation of incentive programs in the Northern and Yorke NRM region. Northern and Yorke Natural Resource Management Board

Evaluation of the ‘Farmers helping Farmers’ Mentoring Project. O’Connor NRM evaluated this innovative mentoring program to improve learning about how knowledge and experience can be transferred in an on-farm setting. South Australian No-till Farmers Association

Evaluation of Management Action Targets and Target-setting Processes for Regional NRM Committees in Tasmania. O’Connor NRM developed a set of analysis criteria to determine the quality of targets set by regional NRM Committees and used a multi-method participative evaluation approach to evaluate the target setting processes used to develop the first regional NRM Strategies for Tasmania. Department of Primary Industries and Water, Tasmania

Evaluation of the South Australian Local Level NRM Facilitators Forum. O’Connor NRM used a participatory evaluation approach to assist the organising committee to evaluate the South Australian Local Level NRM Facilitators Forum. Australian Government NRM Facilitators, South Australia

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Training and Communication Projects

Monitoring Design Training. O’Connor NRM provides training at all levels of monitoring desiign to assist client groups to design effective monitoring and understand monitoring processes for efficient use of monitoring resources in decision making.

Designing Experimental Trials in Natural Resource Management. O’Connor NRM provides training courses in the principles and practice of effective trial design and implementation. The training enables participants to develop a trial plan for their research questions.

Scientific Writing Training, People’s Republic of China. O’Connor NRM has collaborated with Margaret Cargill (Applied Linguist at The University of Adelaide) to develop and deliver a range of training workshops on writing and publishing the results from scientific research. Workshops have been conducted in China, Australia, Canary Islands and Vietnam and have resulted in the publication of the book "Writing Scientific Research Articles: Strategy and Steps" Margaret Cargill and Patrick O'Connor, Wiley-Blackwell Publishers, and accompanying website www.writeresearch.com.au. Chinese Academy of Sciences, PR China

Mount Lofty Ranges Woodland Bird Monitoring Program Report. O’Connor NRM prepared a report for public consumption on the 11 years of monitoring of birds in the woodlands of the MLR. Nature Conservation Society of South Australia

Factsheets Preparation for Three Biodiversity Conservation Projects, Mount Lofty Ranges. O’Connor NRM wrote and designed factsheets and powerpoint presentations to communicate recent developments in biodiversity conservation planning in the Mount Lofty Ranges. Department for Environment and Heritage, South Australia

Program Logic and Performance Story Training for Regional NRM. O’Connor NRM developed and delivered training on program logic and performance story reporting methods to regional NRM staff in the SA MDB and SAAL NRM regions of South Australia. South Australian Murray-Darling Basin and Arid Lands Natural Resource Management Boards

Water Industry Essentials. O’Connor NRM have presented training workshops to raise awareness and knowledge of the current arrangements for water management, governance and trading as well as new advances in water technologies. International Centre of Excellence for Water Management

Lower Murray Landscape Futures  - Communication Products. O’Connor NRM wrote and produced a series of brochures and website content to inform different NRM audiences about the Lower Murray Landscape Futures Project. Products include animated videos of changing landscapes under different future scenarios. Land Technologies Alliance, South Australia. view website

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Ecosystem Service Market Projects

Implementation Planning for Rangelands Biodiversity Conservation Incentive Product: Trans Australian Eco-link. O’Connor NRM is working with the Trans Australian Eco-link to develop the processes and tools necessary to implement novel conservation incentive products for pastoral regions.  Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, South Australia

South Eastern BushBids Conservation Tender. O’Connor NRM collaborated with Natural Resources Murray-Darling Basin to design and implement a conservation tender for conservation of assets critical to the protection of Woodlands in the Southern Murray Mallee and South East of South Australia. Funded by the Australian Government’s Biodiversity Fund. South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resource Management Board

RiverBend BushBids Conservation Tender. O’Connor NRM is designing and implementing a conservation tender for conservation of assets critical to the protection of the Regent Parrot and other threatened species.. Funded by the Native Vegetation Council of South Australia. South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resource Management Board

Southern Mallee BushBids Conservation Tender. O’Connor NRM is designing and implementing a conservation tender for conservation of assets in the Southern Mallee region of the SAMDB. Funded by the Department of Transport and Industry. South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resource Management Board

Trans Australian Eco-link: Options for conservation stewardship for pastoral land managers. O’Connor NRM analysed options for increasing biodiversity stewardship in the South Australian rangelands.  Department of Environment and Natural Resources, South Australia

RUPES Payment for Ecosystem Services in Yunnan Province, China. O’Connor NRM advised a watershed protection program in Yunnan Province, PR China in the design and implementation of a reverse auction for biodiversity conservation. World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) PR China

Multiple Ecological Communities Environmental Stewardship Program in South Australia. O’Connor NRM is implementing two rounds of conservation tender to establish stewardship contracts for up to 15 years on private property with remnants of the threatened ecological communities Peppermint Box Grassy Woodland and Iron-grass Natural Temperate Grassland. Department of Environment, Water Heritage and the Arts, Australian Government

Establishing a National Biodiversity Co-benefits Standard for Investments in the Carbon Market in Australia. O’Connor NRM has scoped standards for production of biodiversity co-benefits from government and private investments in carbon bio-sequestration in the voluntary carbon market. Ecosystem Markets Task Group; Natural Resource Policies and Programs Committee (through Department for Sustainability and Environment, Victoria)

Facilitation of the National MBI Forum. O’Connor NRM facilitated the national forum on market-based instruments for natural resource management in Canberra for the Designer Carrots program http://www.marketbasedinstruments.gov.au. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Queensland

National Government Biodiversity Offset Forum O’Connor NRM facilitates an ongoing forum of policy and technical staff from the Australian, State and Territory governments on biodiversity offsetting activities and directions in Australia. Department for Sustainability and Environment, Victoria

Woodland BushBids Conservation Tender. O’Connor NRM designed and implemented a conservation tender within the SA MBD NRM Region. This project contracted private land managers to conserve and enhance the Peppermint Box, Casuarina and Mallee Woodlands of the western SA MDB NRM region. Funded by the Native Vegetation Council of South Australia. South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resource Management Board

Sustainable Grazing of Sheoak Grassy Woodlands on Eyre Peninsula. O’Connor NRM designed and implemented a uniform-price conservation tender for management of Sheoak Grassy Woodlands in the EP NRM Region. This project contracted private land managers to conserve and enhance priority native vegetation through threat management and sustainable grazing. Eyre Peninsula Natural Resource Management Board

Yalanda to Coast Soil Conservation Project. O’Connor NRM built on the success of the Kielpa to Coast project to design, develop communications, conduct the tender evaluation and report on the project for the Eyre Peninsula NRM Board in 2009. Other components of the project were undertaken by the EP NRM Board staff and Rural Solutions. Eyre Peninsula Natural Resource Management Board

Kielpa to Coast Soil Conservation Project. O’Connor NRM designed, developed communications, conducted the tender evaluation and reported on the project for the Eyre Peninsula NRM Board in 2009. Other components of the project were undertaken by Rural Solutions. Eyre Peninsula Natural Resource Management Board

Yarra Ranges Shire Incentives for Natural Resource Management on Private Land. O’Connor NRM provided program advice and design for a conservation tender targeting important ecological communities to the Yarra Ranges Shire Council. Yarra Ranges Shire Council, Victoria

Environmental Stewardship Program - Box Gum Grassy Woodland Project. O’Connor NRM provided training materials and training to the Box Gum Grassy Woodland Project (conservation tender). Department of Environment, Water Heritage and the Arts, Australian Government

MBI Capacity Building Training Workshops. O’Connor NRM delivered 12 x 2-day workshops  on concepts, design, implementation and evaluation of market-based instruments for NRM in SA/NT/WA/TAS/VIC/ACT for the National Market Based Instruments Capacity Building Program. Department of Natural Resources and Water, Queensland Government

Challenges and Opportunities for Market-based Instruments in Indigenous Lands. O’Connor NRM worked with Jim Binney (economist – Marsden Jacob) facilitated workshops and prepared a report on the challenges and opportunities for market based instruments in indigenous lands in northern Australia. North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Alliance (NAILSMA)

Metric Framework and Definitions Development. O’Connor NRM developed a framework for developing metrics for market-based instruments for use by natural resource management organizations for the National Market Based Instruments Capacity Building Program. Department of Natural Resources and Water, Queensland Government. 

Critical Land Manager and Service Provider Constraints to Conservation Tender Bid Development in the Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges. This research project evaluated attitude, motivation, bidding behavior and implementation constraints in the BushBids conservation tender designed and managed by O’Connor NRM. The research was sponsored by the National Market Based Instruments Capacity Building Program. Department of Natural Resources and Water, Queensland Government

BushBids Conservation Tender – Biodiversity Stewardship for the Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges. O’Connor NRM designed the BushBids Conservation Tender in 2005 and implemented bidding rounds in 2006 and 2007.  In 2007 BushBids was a finalist in the South Australian Landcare Awards for its innovative approach and outcomes for biodiversity conservation. BushBids also won a South Australian Spatial Excellence Award in 2007 for innovation in the use of spatial sciences for natural resource management. Department of Environment and Water Resources, Australian Government

River Murray Forest. O’Connor NRM designed the metric, tender evaluation and database for three bidding rounds of the River Murray Forest auction for contracts for revegetation in the SA MDB NRM region. Department for Environment and Heritage, South Australia

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Links

 

Decision Point
www.decision-point.com.au

Pannell Discussions
www.pannelldiscussions.net

The Conversation
theconversation.com/au

Climate change widget
4hiroshimas.com