Just over $8 million has been allocated in the 2013/14 Estimates of Expenditure, currently before the House of Representatives, to fund the Integrated Management of the Yallahs/Hope River Watershed Management Area Project, in the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change.
The undertaking, being implemented by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), aims to reduce the pressure on natural resources in the Yallahs River and Hope River Watershed of the Blue Mountains, by increasing the practice of sustainable land management (SLM).
This is expected to yield improved management of biological diversity and enhanced flow of ecosystem services that sustain the livelihood of local residents.
Activities expected to be completed this year include: establishment of a Project Management Unit; and outline of management framework for the integrated aspects of the project.
As at February 2013, technical documents were prepared in relation to: agro forestry and biology, biodiversity, economics of natural resources, institutional framework for financial management, rural development; communication, hydrology and carbon sequestration.
The programme, which began in September, 2012 is slated to end in August 2016.
By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter