The Western Port Biosphere Reserve – established under UNESCO’s "Man and the Biosphere" program – was awarded funding in 2011-2012 by the Australian Government, to undertake a 6-year project 'Connecting and Improving Habitat Corridors Regionally to Create a Biodiverse, Resilient Western Port Biosphere'.
Known as Growing Connections the project aimed to improve biodiversity in the Western Port Biosphere. One of the key outcomes of the project was to implement a biodiversity plan which was developed through a mixture of scientific information and community participation, to create a more resilient environment.
The CRCSI assisted the Western Port Biosphere in this project through;
- Creating a first-ever Biosphere-wide catalogue of existing spatial databases relevant to the biosphere
- Spatial data analysis to determine priority areas for on-ground biodiversity works
- Estimating the carbon benefits of on-ground activities
- Establishing a GIS for the biosphere to support monitoring and day-to-day activities including a number of public story maps; Biosphere History, Vegetation Over Time, and Camera Trapping, Biosphere Achievements 2012-2017
- Enhancing the ability to monitor on-ground activities by streamlining data collection using GPS and hand-held devices
- Development of a biodiversity monitoring program to minimise the effort required to monitor environmental health
Ms Jessica Keysers
Researcher, Project & Education Manager