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Australia ICOMOS Plan for Contribution to World Rural Landscapes

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Presentation by Dr. Jane Lennon at the US Cultural Landscape Scientific Committee meeting April 4, 2014
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia PA USA

Published in: Environment, Technology, Business
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Australia ICOMOS Plan for Contribution to World Rural Landscapes

  1. 1. Jane Lennon Presentation to US ICOM Philadelphia, 5 April 201 AUSTRALIA ICOMOS plan for contribution to World Rural Landscapes Pro
  2. 2. The World Rural Landscapes (WRL) initiative launched by the International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes ICOMOS- IFLA to foster the worldwide cooperation in the study, management and protection of rural landscapes. http://www.worldrurallandscapes.org Proposed Initial Project Actions: •Define the geographic scope: our continent – Includes all rural areas that produce food on and underground, water, woodlands, pastures as well as agriculture –fish farming, forestry, hunting. •Note: Although Rodney Harrison estimated in ‘Shared Landscapes’ (2004) that some 98% of NSW after 1788 used for pastoral purposes (i.e., to produce wool as well as meat and dairy), the WRL, as explained by Dr Lionella Scazzosi at our AI Canberra meeting last October, intended to apply to the present and the extent of food-producing landscapes
  3. 3. ACTION TO DATE •Form an Australian Committee of interested ISC/CL members, experts on cultural landscape programs and experts on different geographic regions. •Share information on the WRL project through the NSC email site and Dropbox. •Prepared a task list, an implementation schedule and identify proposed leads for each of the WRL Outputs (Australian Bibliography, Glossary, Landscape Classification Types or Categories, and Case Studies) • Finalized an agenda item for the NSC meeting proposed for 8 March, 2014 in Canberra to review drafts Outputs. •Request an extension for the Outputs until the end of April to incorporate NSC members input.
  4. 4. Issues to date • Categories outlined in the WRL doc relate poorly to Australian agriculture. • Continental scale –yet productive lands concentrated in wetter areas • Little application of landscape analysis to majority of rural landscapes –few contributors • Not many case studies by our members –planners on city edges; archaeologists on mining sites, corridors; architects on rural buildings • Government reports tend to be about rural produce, biodiversity and water conservation • Not enough interest or debate about rural heritage applied to landscapes
  5. 5. The South West Victoria Landscape Assessment Study : detailed insight into landscape character types and most significant landscapes of the region. The Battle for Bowering Hill: Landscape evaluation and its influence on policy making for the Willunga Basin, South Australia.
  6. 6. 95% of Australians live within 50 kms of the coast
  7. 7. ISSUES • Rural landscapes differ by zone small scale around cities, vast in grain belts • Aesthetic values arising from seasonal changes cannot be protected through planning controls • Cattle rather than sheep dot the landscape.
  8. 8. ISSUES • Rural planning schemes value significant biodiversity • Heritage protection –only small percentage of colonial estates. • Little discussion of what is a ‘traditional farm’ and how much change is acceptable
  9. 9. Where are the agricultural lands in Australia? •Climate in the driest continent and soils determine where agricultural activities occur. •Choice of crop and pasture species return nutrients to the system, maintain soil structure, ■ Pastoral — 5400 farms ■ Wheat–sheep — 54 300 farms ■ High rainfall — 57 800 farms
  10. 10. Rural landscape characteristics • Wooded hilltops •Single paddock trees •Cropping on creek flats •Cattle grazing taking over from sheep •House located on slope above any flood level •Corrugated iron outbuildings
  11. 11. Intensive agriculture in valley bottom, Boonah, Qld Extensive grazing in well watered Border Ranges, Qld and outback WA, 2012
  12. 12. Irrigated crops, 2012
  13. 13. Laidley , vegetable growing landscape
  14. 14. Plantation forestry on former marginal farmland, northern NSW
  15. 15. From redundant technology to certified organic
  16. 16. National –all of Australia 977/2232 NSW 151 Victoria 91 Tasmania 109 Queensland 465 South Australia 43 Western Australia 68 Northern Territory 3 Number of ‘farm’ associated places listed in the Australian Heritage Places Inventory 2012
  17. 17. Heritage Listing and protection • Built components identified • Designed colonial farms and estates, many convict built, protected; many now relict landscape features. • Associated agricultural landscapes - not protected under heritage controls, but Rural Use zone in planning schemes. • Local Environment Plans [LEPs] identify heritage items, mostly buildings, and aim to protect the visual character of distinctive farming areas with controls on windfarms, power lines etc • Rural landscapes are key images in Australian Impressionism art and much admired.
  18. 18. Australian Alps relict features in national park landscape devoid of pastoral activity, with natural regeneration
  19. 19. Trends • Lifestyle farming on small acreages increasing close to cities; emphasis on organic products. • Weekend farmers markets often in parks selling direct to consumers. • Aggregations and large scale farming in grain belts • Average farmer is 56 years old - family farm model evolving into a more corporate business structure • Huge increase in productivity in dairying, grain production • No till farming of grain paddocks protects soil but changes landscape • Cattle are predominant over sheep -Australia is still world’s largest producer of fine wool. • Marginal farmlands being added to conservation reserves and parks.
  20. 20. Farming trends
  21. 21. Changing scales and uses in Australia’s rural landscapes Thank you

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