Nature Conservation Trust > News & Stories > Conservation’s future is in private hands

Conservation’s future is in private hands


  • Private protection for conservation is rapidly growing both in Australia and globally
  • National Private Land Conservation Conference bringing together these land owners and managers will be held in Melbourne, 24-25 Nov
  • International speakers include Laura Johnson, Director of International Land Conservation Network

While conservation has long been associated with national parks and government supported protection, the extent of privately protected areas – land protected by NGOs, individuals and companies – has grown from thousands to millions of hectares in Australia over the past 20 years.

New techniques and approaches for individual landowners, companies, and NGOs protecting private land and managing it for conservation purposes will be the subject of Australia’s second national Private Land Conservation conference in Melbourne on 24-25 November.

Delivered by the Australian Land Conservation Alliance (ALCA), the conference brings together private land conservation practitioners, scientists, land managers and academics to exchange information, discuss new research and initiatives, and to identify ways to work together for conservation on private land. National and international speakers will contribute to a lively program for this fast-growing and increasingly vital sector.

“Most people think of national parks when they think of conservation, but in fact a great many threatened species and ecosystems now only survive on private land,” said Victoria Marles, CEO of Trust for Nature and chair of ALCA.

“If we are going to protect the most important places in Australia for future generations, private land owners and managers need to be at the table, and their contribution recognised and supported,” said Victoria Marles. “The truth is that governments cannot ensure Australia achieves its conservation goals without private land conservation. We have a huge challenge ahead, and bringing our large and diverse sector together to work towards a national agenda is vital to tackling such broad issues as sustainable agriculture, climate change and biodiversity.”

Keynote speaker at the conference, Laura Johnson, is Director of the International Land Conservation Network and Chair of the US-based Land Trusts Alliance. A lifelong conservationist, Laura will explore the lessons and challenges which the US land trust movement has encountered in protecting over 20 million hectares of land, and how those lessons might inform the fast-growing global private land conservation movement.

The 2016 National Private Land Conservation Conference is a significant collaboration which has been supported by the National Australia Bank, the Norman Wettenhall Foundation, The Gainsdale Group, the Australian Communities Foundation through the Melliodora Fund and Victorian Catchment Management Authorities.

More information:

Interviews with Laura Johnson, Victoria Marles can be arranged on request.

Media Contact:
Margie Jenkin
+61 (0) 403 789 110

Nature Conservation Trust of NSW
Media Contact:
James Forbes
0448 806 128

ALCA Members
Trust for Nature (Victoria)
Nature Conservation Trust of NSW
Queensland Trust for Nature
Tasmanian Land Conservancy
Nature Foundation SA
The Nature Conservancy (Australia)