Researchers from the Australian National University (ANU) will play an important role in a five-year initiative that aims to improve environmental, economic and social outcomes in rural Australia by helping farmers better manage their natural assets.
The Sustainable Farms initiative is informed by 20 years of ecological research undertaken on farms throughout the south-eastern wheat-sheep belt of Australia. This research is being translated into knowledge and tools that farmers can use to sustainably manage their natural resources.
The initiative includes a Cross-Disciplinary Research Program, led by researchers in ecological science, economics, finance and mental health.
“This will be an incredible cross-disciplinary ANU collaboration that tackles complex, multi-faceted problems of national significance, and issues and problems that really matter to all Australians,” said ecologist and conservation scientist, Professor David Lindenmayer.
The initiative recently received a $2 million grant from the Ian Potter Foundation, which funds research into excellence and innovation. These funds will contribute to the $13.5 million required for the project.
The research program aims to measure and statistically model the financial performance of these farms through time, and the extent to which these farms are affected by the adoption and ongoing use of improved environmental management practices.