“Over the past 10 months the Board, led by former Chairman Scott Williams and then Mayor Noel Playford, set up the Foundation and its associated Trust following de-amalgamation, investigated several ‘big ideas’ and commenced funding six significant projects arising from those ideas,” explained Mr Corfe.
Mr Corfe acknowledged that the previous Board has provided a great legacy to carry over into the 2016/17 year.
The Noosa Biosphere Reserve Foundation has committed funding to five Noosa conservation projects in excess of $659,000 in partnership with other organisations who have also contributed further funds and in kind contributions to a total value of over $2 million.
Many of the projects have had significant input from institutions such as the University of Queensland and the University of the Sunshine Coast.
“We are particularly pleased to have had the opportunity to work with fellow community groups such as Noosa Integrated Catchment Association, Noosa & District Landcare, Noosa Community Biosphere Association and Noosa Parks Association.”
The five funded projects and proponents are: Developing a Botanical Field Guide (Noosa Integrated Catchment Association); Understand our Biosphere (Noosa Community Biosphere Association); Keep it in Kin Kin (Noosa & District Landcare); Bringing Fish Life Back (Noosa Parks Association and The Thomas Foundation); and Mapping Koala Health (University of the Sunshine Coast).
“Each of the projects fit within the Foundation’s mission to support projects and ideas that enhance biodiversity conservation and promote sustainable living in Noosa,” said Mr Corfe.
Some of the highlights from this year’s projects include the Noosa Biosphere Community Association’s project aimed at facilitating broader community understanding of and involvement in the Noosa Biosphere Reserve. The project resulted in new materials and a video, together with a number of activities to increase awareness and volunteer numbers.
The Foundation is also working with the University of the Sunshine Coast to map koala health across the Noosa Biosphere Reserve to inform better koala management practices. The project will assess koala health and populations; identifying areas of high potential for habitat rehabilitation.
Initial scoping has been done on both The Keep it Kin Kin and Bring back the Fish projects; these are long term programs which will provide significant improvements in the health of our river system.
The Foundation also announced its successful application for Direct Gift Recipient (DGR) status by the Federal Government.
“The DGR status will assist the Foundation to pursue a long term fund-raising strategy and continue our mission to keep Noosa as a globally recognised special place”.