RARC VIC WorkshopMonitoring and evaluation is an integral component of our Rivers of Carbon initiative.  It is often said that ‘you cannot manage it if you cannot measure it’, and it is certainly difficult to be confident that management is effective if there is no supporting evidence.  As well as helping to show whether management is achieving its objectives, M&E also provides a basis for adaptive management and continued improvement, and can assist in identifying priorities when we have to choose where to put our resources.

Evaluating Outputs:

Rivers of Carbon is evaluating both outputs and outcomes.  Our output evaluation is checking that we follow our agreed milestones, and focuses for example, on number of landholders involved, trees planted, fencing completed, time taken and funds expended to reach different stages of our projects.  This type of evaluation is relatively straightforward and really is the minimum required for good project management.  As of March 2017 these are the current outputs across all of our Rivers of Carbon projects:

Rivers of Carbon Project Outputs – March 2017

Investment Area Southern Riparian Linkages Yass River Linkages * Upper Murrumbidgee River Goulburn District Linkages Breadalbane Biodiversity Linkages Total
Area revegetated (ha) # 887.6 13 44 21 29 994.6
Number of plants (tubestock) 97,760 6500 13,000 7100 1700 126,060
Kilo of seed (direct seeding) 36.7 0 0  0 0 36.7
Riparian fencing (kms) 122 8 5.5 5.7 3.35 144.55
Alternative stock watering sites 27 4 4 4 1 40
Weed control – willows and blackberries (ha) 158 43 277 0  0 478
Landholder restoration sites 66 14 12 7 4 103
Rapid Assessment of Riparian Condition 132 28 12 7 4 183
Riparian remnant protected (ha) # 18 22.5 4 66 110.5
Riparian remnant enhanced (ha) # 304 21.5 0.4 50.5 376.4
Volunteers engaged 1523 30 290 0 1843
Events 30 3 3 7 2 45
Attendees 1373 70 61 240 35 1779
Partner organisations 6 4 8* 6 16
Indigenous engagement 25 2 0 2 29

* This project is completed

# Revegetation – planting trees with no remnant (may or may not involve fencing) /  Enhancement – planting trees in remnant (may or may not involve fencing) /  Protection – fencing, no planting

We are proud of these results as they are gained through hard work with local landowners on the tributaries, creeks, billabongs and wetlands that feed into our bigger rivers like the Lachlan and Murrumbidgee.   When we drive out through out project areas we can see that change is occuring at a landscape level, and this gives us, and the communities we work with, a real sense of accomplishment.  In addition to these numbers however, we feel it is important that this type of evaluation is complemented with more meaningful findings –  information that tells us about whether our projects achieve their wider purpose and objectives, that is, the outcomes sought.

Evaluating Outcomes: