The Australian 2023 Private Land Conservation Conference (PLC23) was held on Ngunnawal country at the National Convention Centre, Canberra.
It was the seventh conference convened by national peak body The Australian Land Conservation Alliance (ALCA), which represents organisations who protect, manage and restore nature on private land.
This year’s conference theme – Unite for Nature – attracted record attendance with over 400 delegates registering including strong representation from government, business and industry. This is reflective of the increasingly critical need for a whole of society approach to address the accelerating, interlinked climate and biodiversity crises.
The ALCA team would like to extend their gratitude to all delegates and sponsors. We hope you left the conference as we did, feeling inspired, determined, and optimistic about our ability to create a better future. The private land conservation community is growing in size, diversity and influence, and we were filled with hope by seeing you all in the room.
We particularly thank Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander friends and colleagues who travelled to join us at the conference – and acknowledge those who were unable to come. We firmly believe that work in managing and caring for Country benefits from listening to the knowledge and leadership of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We remain determined to keep walking on this journey together.
This was the first time our sector came together in person since 2019. We gathered as Australia grapples with the impacts of biodiversity loss and climate change – which indiscriminately impact livelihoods from urban areas to rural communities, and underscores the urgency of the private land conservation sector’s work.
Private land conservation goes to the heart of the nature and climate nexus by protecting, stewarding and restoring land. Our work is increasingly critical to achieving many of the targets in the historic Global Biodiversity Framework; and private land conservation offers a pivotal opportunity to achieve Australia’s national protection and restoration targets.
Over the course of the conference, we saw great showcases of the diversity of people, practices and places that private land conservation supports. We heard reflections from agriculture about its dependency on natural capital and the opportunities for transitioning to sustainable food futures. We saw examples of industry shifts that reflect nature-dependencies and the opportunities that come with building biodiversity into business thinking. We heard from health experts who underscored the role of nature in promoting human health and resilient communities.
We are grateful to workshop and fieldtrip facilitators and hosts, and the outstanding line-up of Australian and international speakers, who generously shared their unique experiences, expertise and perspectives.
We are also grateful to our Conference partners and sponsors whose support helps us provide a platform for the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and collaboration that will undoubtedly help shape the future of private land conservation.
It is clear from PLC23 - and beyond, that there is unprecedented ambition and demand from Australians to reverse nature loss. The private land conservation sector will continue to do heavy lifting, but philanthropy and private finance also have a role to play and must be leveraged with whole-of-government support, strong policy mandates and a significant uplift in public investment.
We encourage you to lean into the connections, collaborations and knowledge that have come out of PLC23. Together, we can maximise the social, economic, and environmental outcomes that are already being delivered by the private land conservation sector.
Plenary and select concurrent sessions will be made available for public viewing in the coming weeks. To be notified, please sign up to ALCA updates.
The Australian Land Conservation Alliance
Greening Australia and Jesse Collins
The Australian Land Conservation Alliance represents organisations that work to conserve, manage and restore nature on privately managed land. We represent our members and supporters to grow the impact, capacity and influence of private land conservation to achieve a healthy and resilient Australia.
The influence of ALCA member land conservation efforts stretch across more than 3 million square kilometres with more than 4,000 landholders. We have more than 70,000 supporters and our combined annual turnover exceeds $260 million.