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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Bungendore charity wins national climate change award

A Bungendore environmental charity, The Mulloon Institute, has won the Response to Climate Change award at the 2020 Australian Sustainable Communities Awards.

The charity has been recognised for their work with the Mulloon Rehydration Initiative – Stage one where they plan to have 20 farmers working together across 20,000 hectares, committed to restoring natural landscape functions on the entire Mulloon catchment.

The initiative will lead to more reliable stream flows, improved ecosystem functioning, and enhanced agricultural productivity.

The Mulloon Institute CEO, Carolyn Hall, said because soil can hold three times the amount of carbon than is currently in the atmosphere, that rehydrating the land puts more water into the soil, improving carbon levels and helping promote growth with vegetation.

“This in turn increases transpiration which reduces heat levels in the atmosphere. At a local catchment level, it helps farmers become more resilient to drought, fire and flood,” Ms Hall said.

The Mulloon Institute has also been acknowledged by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network as one of five projects globally that demonstrate how bringing degraded landscapes back to life can benefit both agriculture and environment.

The Institute has repaired the severely eroded Mulloon Creek by fencing the waterway, installing leaky weirs, and planting more than 1,000 native plants. The restorations slowed the water flow and rehydrated the floodplain, allowing the riparian area to return to a series of wetlands that are now full of life and biodiversity.

The floodplain has been reconnected with the creek and is now functioning like a sponge storing water, growing more pasture and crops, and ensuring Mulloon Creek has water all year round.

The Mulloon Institute’s goal is to rehydrate and rehabilitate 2.5 million hectares of agricultural land and to improve the resilience, productivity, and profitability of more than 5,000 farming families through its works, advice, and support.

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