Our approach

Rivers of Carbon does not believe there is one discipline called ‘River Restoration’.  Rather, we believe that biophysical, social and cultural knowledge needs to be brought together to ensure we work alongside landholders and their communities to protect and restore rivers, creeks and wetlands for the long-term.  Long-term behavioural change needs relationships founded on trust and mutual respect.  Once these relationships are in place then great things can happen… together.

What is a River of Carbon?

At the very start it is important to understand what we mean when we talk about ‘Rivers of Carbon’.  The living world around us, on the land and in the water, is based on carbon. Carbon is one of the most abundant elements in the universe and is an essential part of us and our environment – we need carbon to survive. Carbon found in something living is called organic carbon. The organic carbon in living organisms comes from carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere.

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Our seven step restoration process

The Rivers of Carbon team is motivated by the need to protect and restore riparian areas so that they can provide multiple values and benefits to the people, plants and animals that rely upon them. When we talk to landholders we ask them why they want to work with us and, together, we discuss how we can achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. We have a seven step process that we use for every site, with protect first and restore second step number one.

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People, places and pride

The Rivers of Carbon team believe that all people are knowledgeable and as such, we place the seven steps outlined above within a broader Rivers Management Framework called the Five Ps. The Five P’s stand for Profit, Proof, People, Place and Promise and ensure that as we work through the seven steps outlined above, we do so within the broader context of people’s lives, livelihoods and lifestyles.

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Aboriginal knowledge and connections

Aboriginal communities have a spiritual and customary living relationship with water in all its forms, through creation stories, use of water as a resource, and knowledge about sharing and conserving water. Aboriginal people have a holistic view to land, water and culture and see them as one, not in isolation of each other. At Rivers of Carbon we try to develop strong and meaningful relationships with Aboriginal people so that we can share our knowledge, combine our strengths, and together, care for the land and water that sustains us.

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Monitoring and evaluation

Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) 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.

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