Environment, conservation and land management offer diverse careers
Environmental issues are important in today’s society. The lives of many Australians, particularly indigenous people and farming families, are closely tied to the environment.
For those who live in large towns and cities, and especially those who live in capital cities, the environment may seem worlds away from their backdoor, but urban areas are major contributors to the well-being of the environment.
Environment, conservation and land management offer a diverse and interesting range of rewarding career opportunities. People wishing to pursue a career in the industry can choose to work in the following industry sectors:
- Community coordination and facilitation
- Indigenous land and sea management
- Lands, parks and wildlife
- Natural area restoration
- Pest and weed management
Community coordination and facilitation
Due to the increase in community participation in natural resource management, there is a demand for qualified people to foster, promote, organise and support community development activities, particularly in those rural communities that have a strong land management focus.
The conservation earthworks industry accounts for about one third of all plant operators nationally. It is essentially involved in the design and construction of earthworks associated with soil conservation on rural properties, erosion and sediment control on rural, urban and infrastructure construction sites.
Workers in the industry can expect to be involved in a wide range of activities including the construction and restoration of farm dams, contour banks, waterways and gullies, the clearing of access tracks, participation in erosion control works, the development of sediment traps and basins and the re-vegetation of development sites.
Indigenous land management
This sector covers a broad range of land management skills and knowledge, which may be integrated with skills and knowledge from other areas such as agriculture, horticulture and tourism. Indigenous land management is distinctive in that it is undertaken within the context of Indigenous culture and traditional customs.
Lands, parks and wildlife
The lands, parks and wildlife industry comprises government and non-government agencies with the primary responsibility of managing places and areas of natural and cultural significance.
The management process is undertaken in accordance with relevant legislation, international, national and local agreements, policies, codes of practice, charters and guidelines.
Persons seeking a career in this sector may find themselves involved in a wide range of activities, which may include the conservation of ecosystems, working in community conservation, managing introduced pests and diseases, supporting community education, interpretation and responding to emergencies, involvement in national and international conservation,
Overseeing commercial, recreational and scientific activities, management of properties and structures, supporting and overseeing tourism activities in parks, and supporting Indigenous heritage and involvement in land management.
Natural area restoration
Natural area restoration is a newly defined sector of the industry, which has captured the interest of many people in the community and has allowed them to become involved in a range of interesting and rewarding activities associated with environmental issues.
A distinctive element of this sector is the high proportion of volunteers engaged in natural area restoration activities. The work is primarily concerned with activities associated with increasing the physical stability, biodiversity and/or ecological integrity of an area.
Vertebrate pest management
Animals classified as vertebrate pests pose complex management issues for the agricultural industry and the environment in general.
People working in the industry control these pests using a variety of techniques, including fencing, habitat modification, trapping, pasture/crop management, shooting, relocation and poisoning.
These control techniques are usually carried out under an integrated pest management approach within local, regional and state and/or national management planning frameworks and strategies.
Weed management is concerned with the management and control of weeds on public and private lands and commercial production systems. Those involved in weed management include the rural industry, contractors, state land management agencies, bush regeneration personnel and local council staff.
Human impact on the environment
Conservation and land management involves the environmental issues of land care, salinity and water management.
Increasing human demands are having a significant impact on natural resources, biodiversity values, soils and erosion control, re-vegetation and restoration, mapping, pest plants and animal. Environmental issues are critical for the future of rural and related industries.
Looking after Australia’s forests, bushland, grasslands, wetlands, coastal and other natural areas requires an understanding of how ecosystems work and national priorities for environmental threats highlight the importance placed on land management skills and capabilities.
Source acknowledgement: Food, Fibre & Timber Industries Training Council (WA) Inc