Gondwana Link

Prepare Conservation Plans

Why we need to plan

The primary role of our planning is to improve cohesion and integration across a diversity of views and information sources, while being able to regularly test plans to ensure they are as strategic as possible.

Plans are also an effective means of building clarity amongst the range of people involved in any one project area.

How we help

We have adopted the internationally accepted Open Standards for Conservation approach, and the associated Conservation Action Planning and Miradi software tools which also enable comparisons across targets. This approach has now been supported in eight different areas of the Link, and has the added advantage of enabling comparisons between regions and across targets. We thank The Nature Conservancy for introducing us to this tool.

Detailed planning to establish the Gondwana Link program was a hot topic at the first Conservation Action Planning training workshop in Australia, held in Emerald Queensland in 2001.

Since 2010 we have had Barry Heydenrych (seconded from Greening Australia) and Paula Deegan helping with development of local area conservation plans across the Link.

Planning and constant review and adaptation of plans is a time-consuming task, and we are presently part of a national discussion on how to make ongoing planning less onerous for time pressured local groups.

What groups do

The collection of groups working together in each area have responsibility for the development and upkeep of their plans.

Development of good plans requires a focused effort from key group members and other experts. Typically, each group will meet a number of times as they work through their plans, starting with a robust discussion on what really are the strategically important but ‘ambitiously achievable’ targets, and how their ecological condition can be measurably improved within ten years. We then prod and poke and exasperate until the groups feel the final plans are both ecologically robust and practically worthwhile.

The knowledge contributed and freely shared by group members and visiting experts is often staggering. To have a group map all their wallaby populations, and the breeding lineage for each family, over morning tea is an impressive insight into just how much knowledge is available. Similarly, to have a research scientist in the room who can see how valued and applicable their decades of research can be.

The groups, of course, are also undertaking far more massive tasks in the implementation of what are quite often very efficient programs of work.


Paula Deegan and the Ranges Link group working on their conservation plan. This group always include scone, jam and cream in their planning sessions.Photo courtesy Paula Deegan.


Planning in the early days (2004). Since then mapping and the availability of spatial datasets has improved enormously. Photo Nathan McQuoid.