Managing Victoria’s biodiversity is critically important, however with multiple players, competing interests and escalating challenges it is hard to know where to focus limited funding. In 2017, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) released the first Victorian Biodiversity Strategy in over a decade. A core component of this was having a Biodiversity Response Planning (BRP) process to design collaborative projects that deliver the best biodiversity outcomes. This process would also determine which project received Victorian Government funding.
To ensure stakeholder buy-in and support, DELWP decided to co-design the BRP process with help from Capire. The co-design occurred a series of five full day workshops with over 100 stakeholders with interests in biodiversity planning and management. The process recognised Traditional Owners as equal partners in land management and actively engaged relevant groups and networks. This included a pre-forum before the workshops to create a culturally safe space for Aboriginal participants to share their hopes, expectations and concerns about how BRP could work. The BRP process determined through the co-design process was implemented in 2018 and helped determine over $30 million of government funded projects in Victoria.