Staff of the CCAMLR Secretariat recently swapped their desks and computers for wheelbarrows and shovels when they volunteered to help rehabilitate some degraded land south of Hobart.
CCAMLR's Observer Scheme Program Coordinator, Isaac Forster, is the convenor of the Snug Land and Coastcare group. One of their current projects, supported through a grant from the Tasmanian landcare fund, is to remove invasive plant species from the banks of the Snug river and plant native shrubs and grasses in their place. This reduces localised erosion and improves the water quality of nearby Northwest Bay.
CCAMLR Executive Secretary, Andrew Wright, had proposed that Secretariat staff participate in an occasional program of volunteering to help with local community causes. Isaac saw the perfect match and put forward his group's project as a candidate for the Secretariat's inaugural foray into community volunteering.
Staff enthusiastically exchanged office attire for outdoor workwear and spent a morning at the Snug site planting some 300 native shrubs and grasses along the banks of the Snug River. Experienced gardeners provided advice to those whose thumbs aren't so 'green', and together the team helped transform the river bank.
"The Secretariat is already a great team of people and to contribute to our local communities helps build our team in new ways," said Mr Wright.
"CCAMLR staff benefit from such team-building opportunities but more importantly, Tasmania and its people receive some assistance with some important community projects," he said.