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Author Topic: Eyes of the world on Gunbower Forest  (Read 1398 times)

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Eyes of the world on Gunbower Forest
« on: March 31, 2015, 12:18:58 AM »
Eyes of the world on Gunbower Forest
16-03-2015 - NCCMA

One of Australia’s most significant wetlands has attracted some international attention.   

A Brazilian documentary crew spent two days in north central Victoria last week focussing on the successful environmental watering of Gunbower Forest. 

Despite being home to the world’s largest river basin, Brazil is in the middle of a horrific drought, with climate change, deforestation and water management issues crippling the country’s water resources.   

The crew from TV Globo is travelling the world looking at how other countries have managed drought and what changes they have made to reduce its future impact.   

The crew, headed by leading Brazilian journalist Antonio Ferreira, visited California and Sydney before arriving at Gunbower.   

They will now move on to Singapore and Africa, in an effort to educate the Brazilian people and influence the future direction and policies of their government.   

Gunbower Forest was chosen as an example of national water reform measures that address the declining health of the Murray-Darling river system, especially during the millennium drought.   

Through the Murray Darling Basin Plan and The Living Murray program, available water is being managed as efficiently as possible to build a healthy system and resilience to future droughts. 

North Central Catchment Management Authority (CMA) Gunbower Forest project manager Anna Chatfield said the Ramsar-listed site was regarded as a special place in the world as it supports a large number of plants and animals and is particularly important for waterbird breeding. 

“Antonio and his crew were keen to see how the whole Murray Darling Basin system worked and how water was shared between the environment, agriculture and towns,” she said.   

“They were very impressed with The Living Murray program and its focus on environmental water. 

“It was amazing for people from a country dominated by the Amazon River and with so much rainforest to be in awe of Gunbower and what has been achieved there. 

“They saw the results we have achieved with our first watering and how important the Hipwell Road Channel is to the long-term survival of the forest.”                     

More than 98GL of water was delivered to the forest through the newly-constructed Hipwell Road channel from May to December last year.   

The $13.5 million channel project was funded through The Living Murray program and the environmental water delivered by the North Central CMA and Goulburn-Murray Water.   

The environmental water used to support the event was made available from The Living Murray program and the Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH).   

The environmental water releases at Gunbower Forest were made in line with the VEWH Seasonal Watering Plan 2014-15, which aims to improve river and wetland health across the state. 

The Living Murray is a joint initiative funded by the New South Wales, Victorian, South Australian, Australian Capital Territory and Commonwealth governments, coordinated by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.
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