chapter  12
Landscape management and landscape regeneration in Australia
WithRichard M. Thackway, Mark W. Gardner
Pages 22

For almost 160 years almost 60 per cent of Australia’s landscapes have been managed primarily to produce food and fibre (see Table 12.1). Covering almost 7,687,000 km², there is widespread evidence almost everywhere to show the ecological effects that rural production and pest animals and plants associated with agricultural industries have had on the environment (Saunders et al., 1990). At the same time, farming has been a major contributor to the Australian economy. In the first half of the 20th century, agricultural production accounted for up to 80 per cent of Australia’s exports and around a quarter of the nation’s output (Productivity Commission, 2005). Development of the environment for agricultural production has come at a cost to the environment. Large areas of Australia have been, and continue to be, modified and degraded. This adversely affects the resilience of these once healthy functioning ecosystems (Metcalfe and Bui, 2017; Thackway and Freudenberger, 2016). This is regrettable, since sustainable agricultural production depends on the inherent healthy functioning of these ecosystems. Few areas of landscapes in Australia are managed with the aim of enhancing, maintaining and protecting the regenerative capacity of healthy functioning ecosystems.