Quote of the Moment:

“We did not inherit the land. We borrow it from our children.”
Picked up along the way

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Kachana News

February 2005 News

Despite seasonal challenges we face exciting times in rural Australia:

  • At political levels people are realising that public funds are not necessarily being effectively implemented on the ground.
  • At industry levels we are able to access information on techniques that are also being tested in other parts of the world.
  • At government agency levels R&D is being more closely scrutinised:
    • How much more agency regulated research do we actually need?
    • Should public funding help speed up existing private research?
    • What sort of project deserves to be backed?
    • How do we best incorporate latest available scientific knowledge in existing programs?
    • How do we achieve more transparency and accountability?

Being active at the grass-roots end we get to feel the direct consequences of all this, but we also get to see first-hand how nature is able to respond.

We believe:

  • Great things are possible for Northern Australia if we create appropriate incentives for innovation…
  • We are talking about steep learning curves for politicians, legislators, advisors, bureaucrats and land-managers alike… especially for those at the operational end: They are not only confronted with unprecedented challenges and knew knowledge, they are also faced with acquiring and perfecting new skills…
  • If we expect quick results (and I believe time is an issue), there will be “failures”… Incentives should therefore be constructed so that such “failures” serve primarily as learning experiences and not as deterrents to innovation (thus further stalling much needed action on the ground).

It is encouraging to see more conferences that promote innovative land management practices:

For more about training information in Australia and abroad:

By way of reality-check:

Please remember that in most ecological hot-spots on this planet we are confronted with situations where we find people whose primary concern is to provide for survival for their families TODAY. Take for instance Equatorial South America

“Every eight seconds, we destroy one soccer field of the Amazon forest. The Cerrado, an ecosystem of millions of years, has lost 57% of its original size. Each day Brazil and the world have less Nature remaining. The Brazilian Atlantic forest, one of the most rich in biodiversity and in beautiful life has lost 98% of its original size since colonial times. The reason for this is that the Atlantic forest is where Brazil has its most economically developed areas. Where we applied the same development model of the rich countries, we were able to produce the same destruction of natural habitats. This is the reason why the United States and Europe have destroyed more than 99% of its natural forests…”

From: The Daily Reckoning []
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2005 4:38 AM

We do not deny the need to address such current disasters.

Our conclusion is two-fold:

  1. Such “disasters” are a direct result of globally dominating extractive economic systems spawned as a result of the “Industrial Revolution” (A revolution in the truest meaning of the word: humans successfully revolting against nature’s more predictable cyclical checks and balances… leaving us all the more exposed to Nature’s more powerfully complex, less predictable non-cyclical checks and balances e.g. compounding local climatic change…)
  2. We now know more about safe, low-tech alternatives to address many of the mistakes of YESTERDAY. (Loss of biodiversity from both recent and more historic times, and its restoration is no longer a mystery once we begin to understand the biological components of eco-system function.)

We therefore advocate urgent action in regions that have been depopulated: Put people with new skills back into ailing landscapes… our Kachana Pastoral Company response is The Byrne Terry Ellenbrae Fund. We can provide skill-training for agricultural students or young farmers in ecological crisis zones… However to be effective we also require broader community support.

Greetings from the Kachana team in the heart of the Kimberley!