What is a Local Landscape?
The Wet Tropics Region is large and diverse, extending from the Daintree all the way to the Lower Herbert from north to south and out beyond Mount Garnet to the west. A key principle of this plan is to represent the local community perspective alongside regional priorities.
During the planning process 10 ‘sub-regions’ have emerged and throughout our website they are referred to as Local Landscapes to reflect two things:
- They are local and are the ‘backyard’ communities we identify with and care about.
- They refer to the whole landscape, not just individual elements such as creeks, forests, farms or towns. They are biophysical, social, cultural and economic.
A range of characteristics were taken into account in defining the geographical areas of the Local Landscapes. However, they are not intended to be rigid or divisive areas and they are purposefully represented with overlapping ‘boundaries’. People may identify with more than one Local Landscape or feel that there are major differences within their Local Landscape.
Ongoing discussions within Local Landscapes will guide the priorities of the Wet Tropics Plan for People and Country, as well as provide the opportunity for the community to agree on actions to be taken in their own backyard.
Ideally, focusing the spotlight on what people care about at their local level will ensure better integration between local, regional, state and national priorities and action.
Common themes from the Local Landscapes
Amidst the local distinctions there are also a number of common threads that run throughout the region with regard to people’s aspirations about their Local Landscape.
- The Wet Tropics Big 5: These regional themes (Biodiversity, Biosecurity, Water, Sustainable Industries, Coastal Systems) were raised again and again, forming the basis for the clustering of projects within the Local Landscapes. This allows strong alignment between priorities at the local and regional levels.
- Climate Change: There was a consistent call for a better understanding of the impacts that climate change will have on the local landscape and for this to be taken into consideration in project planning.
- Community Values: A top priority for most local landscapes was enhancing community understanding and appreciation of the benefits of healthy natural resources on our livelihoods and lifestyles.
- Local Partnerships: Working more collaboratively as community groups, as well as with a wide range of partners in the local landscape was a common theme in projects.
Common priorities will enable sub-regional initiatives covering multiple Local Landscapes to be developed, without losing the local context.