What is the Environmental Stewardship Program?

The Environmental Stewardship Program aims to maintain and/or improve the condition and extent of targeted matters of national environmental significance under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

The Environmental Stewardship Program has offered funding rounds through which eligible private land managers applied for grants to support a range of agreed management activities to protect, rehabilitate and improve particular ecological communities. Eligible land managers included farmers, Indigenous communities, and other managers of private freehold and leasehold land.

Successful land managers were contracted to manage targeted matters of national environmental significance on their land and received funding for activities that are additional to their normal legislative responsibilities, for up to 15 years. The most recent round was held up in 2011.

Program outcomes

The Environmental Stewardship Program provides long-term support for matters of environmental significance and has provided opportunities for farmers to get involved in the stewardship of our natural environment.

Program outcomes include:

  • improve habitat across the landscape
  • increase viability, integrity and buffers to high quality remnants for ecological communities
  • improve the long-term protection of nationally endangered species and ecological communities
  • improve the condition and function of ecological communities
  • create enduring changes in land manager attitudes and behaviours towards environmental protection and sustainable land management practices.

Evaluation and monitoring

Since 2010, the Australian National University has been contracted by the Australian Government to undertake an ecological benchmark and monitoring survey for the Box Gum Grassy Woodland projects. More than 150 farms are part of the study.