Over the coming decades, humanity needs to address fundamental challenges relating to the provision of adequate and sustainable food and water supplies, protection of habitats and meeting changing climatic conditions. The implementation of a regeneration strategy has the potential to deliver immense opportunities and outcomes for northern and rural Australia.
- Soils and bio-systems throughout Australia are generally in decline, leading to a loss of arable land, with serious water, food, economic and environmental consequences.
- Australia urgently needs to focus on regenerating the health and resilience of its soils and landscapes to reverse this decline and better survive the impact of climatic extremes.
- Australia needs to recognise that water is the key natural strategic asset and ensure that it is captured, conserved and used effectively.
- This can only be done if the soil structure is restored so that its “in-soil reservoirs” absorb and store more of the unreliable rainfall, which extends the level and longevity of green growth across Australia’s landscape.
- Soil restoration also requires reducing both the loss and emission of carbon from vegetation and soils, which results from increasingly more intense and frequent wildfires, by converting these fuels into dung and soil carbon through the gut of grazing animals.
- To achieve this, there is a need to examine the potential for restoring the grazing systems that earlier created the soils, hydrology, resilience and productivity of large areas of Australia. The regeneration of these systems is now critical.