RMIT University, the Glenelg Hopkins CMA, Friends of Yatmerone and the Pierrepoint Land Protection Group will welcome Japanese Landcarers to the region this weekend (21-23 March).
Dr Kazuki Kagohashi, from Nanzan University, and Tomomi Maekawa, a PhD student with Tokyo Institute of Technology, are visiting Victoria in March to study and network with Landcare groups.
RMIT Research Fellow Mary Johnson said: “In addition to seeing on-ground projects including wildlife corridors, wetland restoration and land class fencing, Kazuki and Tomomi will talk with local Landcare groups on the advantages of Landcare-type approaches to environmental management.
"A terrific example of the cooperative benefits between Landcare and agency is the Glenelg Hopkins CMA’s award-winning Glenelg River Restoration project.
"Landcare helped with engagement of landholders and community and the delivery of works.
"Now these efforts have resulted in significant areas of river restoration and the project is a finalist in the 2014 International River Prize."
First stop on the Japanese visitors’ itinerary is the Lake Bolac Eel Festival on 21 March where they will participate in the "Return to Country"-themed activities. From Lake Bolac, the visitors then spend time in the Hamilton area.
Penshurst’s Friends of Yatmerone will host a BBQ on Mount Rouse on 23 March, after which the group will visit Pierrepoint Landcare sites.
Also travelling with the group is Rob Youl, Chair, Australian Landcare International and Ewan McGregor, New Zealand Landcare.
RMIT Hamilton is leading the way on projects that work with communities to help solve emerging environmental and social issues, with Ms Johnson involved in projects that focus on developing livelihood strategies and land managers’ capacity in Africa and The Philippines.
Tokyo PhD student Tomomi Maekawa began her academic career studying law with a focus on litigation in landscape issues. She is now doing her thesis on Landcare, social justice and consensus building.
Dr Kagohashi has previously worked with Japanese farmers on using traditional knowledge to adapt in drought-prone areas, but is now involved in community development and Landcare.
For interviews: Communications Project Officer Michelle Badenhorst, (03) 5572 0505, 0430 382 432 or firstname.lastname@example.org.