Glossary and acronyms

Catchment-wide collaboration workshops for land health and biodiversity are being held in October 2022

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TermDefinition
Catchment Management Authority (CMA)Statutory authorities established under Victorian Government legislation (Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994) that are responsible for the integrated planning and coordination of land, water and biodiversity management in each of the 10 catchment and land protection regions. The regions correspond to naturally occurring drainage basins.
Climate change adaptationAction taken to reduce the adverse consequences of climate change or harness opportunities.
Climate change mitigationEfforts to reduce or prevent emission of greenhouse gases. It can mean using new technologies and renewable energies, making older equipment more energy efficient, or changing management practices and consumer behaviour.
Country PlanAlso known as Caring for Country Plan or Whole-of-Country Plan. Developed by a Traditional Owner group (sometimes titled in Aboriginal language) to expresses their vision, aspirations, strategies and actions for Country. Country Plans support Traditional Owners to communicate their rights, cultural authority or interest in Country.
Critical attributesCritical property or characteristic of a system that shapes its identity and function. These attributes should be within an appropriate limit, range or distribution to ensure the system maintains its identity and function.
De-carbonisationThe process of reducing greenhouse gas emissions produced during electricity production, that is, reducing the amount of carbon dioxide resulting from transport and power generation.
Drivers of changeThe external forces influencing how the catchment operates and shaping future pathways.
Ecological communityA naturally occurring group of native plants, animals and other organisms that are interacting in a unique habitat. It’s structure, composition and distribution are determined by environmental factors such as soil type, position in the landscape, altitude, climate and water availability. Types of ecological communities include woodlands, grasslands, shrublands, forests and wetlands.
Ecological vegetation class (EVC)The standard unit for classifying vegetation types in Victoria. EVCs are described through a combination of floristics, lifeforms and ecological characteristics and through an inferred fidelity to particular environmental attributes. Each EVC includes a collection of floristic communities that occur across a biogeographic range and although differing in species, have similar habitat and ecological processes.
EcotoneIs a transition area where two biological communities meet and integrate. It can be narrow or wide, local or regional and appear as a gradual blending or a sharp boundary line.
Ecosystem servicesThe benefits provided to humans through the natural resources.
Environmental stewardshipResponsible use and protection of the natural environment through conservation and sustainable practices to enhance ecosystem resilience and human wellbeing.
First Nations PeoplesAboriginal and Torres Straight Islander peoples of Australia.
Integrated catchment managementA whole-of-system approach for land, water and biodiversity planning and delivery for multiple outcomes in and across ecosystems. It captures the values and priorities of regional communities and brings together partners from across the catchment to identify and respond to challenges that cannot be solved by one organisation or stakeholder alone.
Landscape contextThe patterns in a landscape, such as the size and shape of remnants, distance and connection to waterways and wetlands, distance between remnants, adjacent land uses and connectivity. Landscape context influences the movement of native species and their resilience to disturbances. In general the more linkages the more resilient the landscape.
Local areasAlso known as social-ecological systems or sub-catchment areas. Systems of people and places that have much in common socially, economically and ecologically. Local areas are a useful scale for decision making and the roll out of on-ground projects because they are small enough to understand the details and large enough to allocate resources efficiently.
Natural resource management (NRM)The management of natural resources such as land, soil, water, vegetation and biodiversity with a particular focus on actions that protect or improve the environment for present and future generations.
Reading CountryReading Country is a bridging tool that expresses a respectful integration of Indigenous oral cultural practices of knowledge protection and transfer and Western applied research. Reading Country involves seeking the areas of change between different elements and systems of Country. It has two main components. Firstly, cultural values are identified and recorded. These values may be cultural heritage, intangible heritage, such as as song, dance, stories, places; and living bio-cultural values, such as culturally significant plants and animals. These values are examined through narrative and yarning with Elders, mentors, peers or knowledge keepers. The second component is interaction (data analysis, interpretation and sharing as knowledge) that manifests as priorities and actions required to heal and maintain the health of Country.

Reading Country embeds data sovereignty and includes developing other knowledge protection mechanisms (cultural governance) to ensure that the ongoing protection of Traditional Owner knowledge and practice is culturally appropriate and Indigenous-led.
RefugiaGeographical region that has remained unaltered by a climate change affecting surrounding regions and forms a haven for relict fauna and flora.
Regional Catchment Strategy (the strategy)The primary integrated planning framework for a catchment’s management of land, water and biodiversity resources. It integrates community values and regional priorities with state and federal government legislation and policies. Each CMA prepares a strategy in partnership with local communities and partners involved in integrated catchment management and Registered Aboriginal Parties. It is a requirement under Victorian Government legislation (Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994) and is updated every 6 years.
Registered Aboriginal PartyThe Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 recognises Registered Aboriginal Parties as the primary guardians, keepers and knowledge holders of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage. In Victoria, Registered Aboriginal Parties are determined by the Aboriginal Heritage Council which is comprised of 11 Traditional Owners appointed by the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs.
ResilienceThe capacity of people and the environment to absorb a shock or setback and to flourish in spite of it. It is the capacity to cope with change and continue to evolve.
Response phaseThe way a natural system responds to change. The 3 main ways are:
1. Persistence: the system stays the same in the face of change.
2. Adaptation: management actions are modified in response to change and the changes endure while the purpose of the system remains the same.
3. Transformation: the system fundamentally alters in response to change, where management and the overall purpose of the system changes.
Socio-ecological systemsConsistent, integrated systems of people and nature that exist at a range of connected scales, from farm to local area to whole-of-catchment. The term emphasises that humans must be seen as part of nature, not apart from it.
Socio-economicRelating to or concerned with the interaction of social and economic factors.
Sustainability dilemmaAlso know as socio-ecological dilemma. The local-scale expression of the sustainability challenges faced. They often arise where there are different stakeholder values and priorities dealing with different social, economical and environmental interests.
Taungurung Land and Waters Council (TLaWC)Registered Aboriginal Party representing the interests of the Taungurung people. It was registered on the 16 July 2009, is the corporate representative and face of the Taungurung people and serves to uphold their interests with respect to culture and Country.
ThemesA grouping of information into biodiversity, community, land, and water, reflecting the main components of natural resource management. All of these themes are connected and management actions on-ground typically address all themes.
Tipping pointsAlso known as thresholds. Critical levels, of one or more variables or attributes, that when crossed trigger abrupt change in the system that may or may not be reversible.
Traditional ecological knowledgeKnowledge held by First Nations cultures about the immediate environment and cultural practices that build on that knowledge. It includes an intimate and detailed knowledge of plants, animals, natural phenomena, the development and use of appropriate technologies for hunting, fishing, trapping, agriculture and forestry and a holistic knowledge or world view which parallels the scientific discipline of ecology (Berkes 1993).
Traditional OwnerA First Nations person who has traditional connection(s) to an identified geographical area of Country.
Utilitarian valuesWhen this is the primary value or motive guiding a person’s view of the world, they will be looking for how they can use natural resources for their own or societies value, that is, a means to an end.
Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation (YYNAC)Registered Aboriginal Party representing the interests of the Yorta Yorta peoples. It was established, amongst other objectives, to represent the members of the family groups who are descendants of the original ancestors of the Yorta Yorta peoples; to make decisions and act on any matters of significance to the Yorta Yorta peoples; and to enter into agreements with any person, government agency or authority in relation to the protection of Yorta Yorta Country.

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