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The NatureMapr Network - Finalists in the 2018 Banksia Sustainability Awards

The NatureMapr Network is thrilled to announce that it has been listed as a finalist in the 2018 Banksia Sustainability Awards. NatureMapr is the fastest developing biodiversity mapping initiative in Australia and is a unique example of how community-led citizen-science initiatives and partnerships across government agencies can add real value to regional management for environmental sustainability.

The Banksia Sustainability Awards are the most prestigious and longest running sustainability awards in Australia. They are recognized internationally as highlighting innovation and leadership in sustainability through the lens of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Across the South East corner of NSW and the ACT, the NatureMapr network is creating a beautiful and valuable online database of regional biodiversity. The NatureMapr Network relies on community engagement and support, offering valuable insights about the natural world. Canberra Nature Map (CNM), Atlas of Life Coastal Wilderness and from May 2018 the Atlas of Life Budawang Coast all demonstrate the value of community led, volunteer run projects. These projects have attracted broad community, scientific and professional support because of the evident value of their activities.

Across the South-east NSW region, the NatureMapr network has attracted over 2,000 contributors, recorded over 1.18 million sightings of over 7,000 species. Once moderated, data contributes to the Atlas of Living Australia and thence to the Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Each of the three projects has a team of database administrators, as well as local moderators and contributors. The energy and creativity of the platform creator ensures that there is continual enhancement of this user-friendly recording platform for its communities of interest. 126 expert Moderators ensure the validity of each record before it is accepted. Moderators also mentor and nurture the citizen scientists of all ages recording their sightings.

NOTE: There are three sightings from Corunna that are presently featured sightings on the Coastal Wilderness NatureMapr. Corunna is presently being logged.

The NatureMapr network is a successful model demonstrating how a user-friendly data gathering tool can provide the basis for a range of sustainability outcomes – developing communities of interest and practice, underpinning projects and working with government agencies to inform environmental decision making.

In time, NatureMapr will allow recording of progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These projects are engaging community and data gathering at the detailed granular level being requested by the United Nations for reporting progress against the SDGs, in this case particularly: 4, 15, 17 and in time 13.

Examples of sustainability outcomes from the network to date are; the Canberra orchid and fire study in Aranda Reserve, initiated and undertaken by CNM contributors supported by scientists, the results of this research leading to different and more complex fire-management regimes to better protect orchid populations; Frequently the availability of real-time records of invasive weeds now result in swift and very cost-effective actions for natural resource managers; several species have been removed from threatened species lists because of better more comprehensive community collected data.

As well as encouraging individual data gathering, the projects undertake a range of targeted surveys and activities such as BioBlitzes, Target Species and research to gather particular data, attract new contributors and inform existing members.

The NatureMapr network can readily replicate this successful model and offer support to any region which is keen to develop the same kind of project. Members of the network also offer tools developed here such as the “Australian Guide to running a BioBlitz” and are currently developing mechanisms for reporting to the SDGs, both regionally and globally and will offer these widely.

​The NatureMapr network:

Atlas of Life coastal wilderness, Canberra Nature Map and Atlas of Life Budawang coast

Check out and join your local NatureMapr site:

NSW Far South Coast

Shoalhaven and Eurobodalla

Australian Capital Territory

#Community #Weekly #Narooma #Tilba

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