“We are pleased many good things are happening for our biosphere reserve and therefore also our community with projects that multiply project investment by contributions from universities and not-for-profit organisations,” said Dick Barnes, Chair of the Foundation.
The Foundation also presented to Council last week all of the current projects and activities in progress.
“In general, the majority of the past year was spent delivering the projects agreed in the first grants round of 2015/16, including Australia’s first oyster reef installation in a river system which attracted a three to one ratio in cash and in-kind contributions, and launching our biggest grants round ever in 2017,” said Mr Barnes.
“From the 2015 round, three multi-year projects are continuing, and two projects have been completed.
“In November, we reached a major milestone for the Bring Back the Fish project with 14 new oyster reefs placed in the Noosa River system to increase biodiversity, habitats and water quality. We now start the formal scientific monitoring phase and look forward to some exciting results.
“The 2017 big ideas grants round received 54 submissions from the community. A record funding pool of $330,000 will be shared across recipients who will deliver $790,000 worth of projects that aim to preserve, improve and add to our hard, data-based understanding of Noosa’s natural assets for generations to come.
“The small projects include work to address the disease attacking the iconic Pandanus trees, creating an indigenous cultural heritage learning trail, a master plan for the hinterland trail network and planning for Noosa achieving zero carbon emissions by 2026 and World Heritage listing by 2032.
“Large project recipients will be announced shortly."
“We also began preparing the 10-year periodic review required by UNESCO and began developing our strategy for the next 10 years.”
Dick Barnes says the Foundation’s operational funding from Council is only a fraction of what’s distributed to community groups annually.
“Of the $1.33 million NBRF has received from Council since 2014, $940,000 is for projects delivered by not-for-profit organisations and universities.
“These funds are used to deliver Noosa’s only dedicated environmental grants program and is a significant investment in the sustainability of Noosa.”