Project Phoenix concludes with launch of National Native Seed Strategy
By Gabrielle Stannus
1. One of the key Project Phoenix activities was the development of a 10-Year Strategy for the Australian Native Seed Sector, which proposes a coordinated approach to growing the sector (Image: Greening Australia)
Greening Australia’s Project Phoenix, a strategic program to build and secure native seed and plant supply for restoration after the devastating Black Summer bushfires of 2019-20, will conclude on 30 December 2021. Outcomes from Project Phoenix include the publication of A Strategy for the Australian Native Seed Sector and a re-established Florabank website hosting updated Florabank Guidelines and other resources.
As part of the national response to the 2019-20 bushfires, Greening Australia received $5m in initial funding from the Federal Government to deliver Project Phoenix. This project aimed to build and secure native seed and plant supply for landscape restoration, recovery and resilience in bushfire-affected areas and other vulnerable landscapes.
“This ten-year native seed and landscape restoration Strategy is a coordinated approach to growing the sector. It aims to remove barriers and achieve outcomes that will benefit the whole sector and enable Australia to better manage the restoration and rehabilitation of landscapes and support biodiversity,” explains Project Phoenix’s Manager, Samantha Craigie from Greening Australia.
The Strategy sets six Strategic Objectives to deliver on its aims: Quality, market coordination, information sharing, new industries, smarter regulation and sector leadership.
2. The Florabank website has been re-established through Project Phoenix as an information portal for the management of Australian native seed including nursery propagation (Image: Greening Australia)
Interested businesses and individuals who would like to collaborate and develop projects under these strategic themes are encouraged to register their interest in attending a Strategy Implementation event to be held early in 2022.
New Florabank website
“We have also built new resources for the native seed and plant production sectors in the form of the Florabank website with self-paced seed training, discussion forums and a native seed and nursery directory,” Samantha explains. The Florabank website is funded by the Australian Government's wildlife and habitat bushfire recovery program through Project Phoenix.
3. The production of local native plants is a key element of environmental restoration and rehabilitation (Image: Greening Australia)
Access the updated Florabank Guidelines
Undertake Florabank Native Seed Online Training
Participate in the Native Seed Community Forum
Create your profile on the Seed People directory so others can find you
“We have also developed new training associated with the updated Florabank Guidelines,” says Samantha, “It is a self-paced, online training course covering all aspects of the Guidelines and is arranged into four modules: Seed Collection, Cleaning, Storage and Production.”
4. Eucalypt seedlings propagated for local restoration projects in the ACT (Image: Greening Australia)
For the first twelve months, access to this course will be free. After this time, users will be charged a small administration fee.
“Throughout the consultation for the Strategy, people told us that they want to know specific knowledge that can only be shared by people with local propagation expertise,” Samantha says, “The Florabank Forums allows those people to come forward and have those discussions. It is a fantastic way to share really specific information across the native seed community.”
The Florabank Forums provide an online meeting place for the Florabank community, enabling members to converse with each other on topics and issues important to them.
“I have met the most amazing people who have been in the sector for 50 or 60 years. They have got all this knowledge and there are real concerns that this knowledge will be lost because there are not a lot of young people coming into the sector,” says Samantha, “Having this ability to share and connect with people who have this high-level expertise is going to be critical for succession planning in the nativeseed industry.”
“We are really excited about the new Seed People directory because it provides an opportunity to create visibility for native seed businesses who have so much local knowledge.,” Samantha continues.
This Seed People directory allows businesses and community members to search for seed suppliers, seed production areas, nurseries and/or seed collectors by capability and/or name across the country.