The holy grail of sustainable impact 


Charles Darwin University (CDU) has been successful in obtaining further funding from AusAID to support the project ‘Enhancing land management capacity for sustainable rural development in eastern Indonesia’.

CDU has a long association with eastern Indonesia particularly through collaborative research and training in the area of natural resource mapping and management for improved rural livelihoods.

During 2006 Bronwyn Myers and Tania Paul of CDU’s School of Science and Primary Industries secured funding under AusAIDs Public Sector Linkage Program (PSLP). This project has built capacity in GIS for mapping and monitoring through training provided by CDU’s Rohan Fisher in partnership with Indonesian colleagues.

CDU has also developed links between Indonesian and northern Australian government agencies, and facilitated the development of improved land and resource management practices and more effective engagement between government agencies and rural communities in eastern Indonesia.

This new round of funding of $180,000 over 12 months will support activities developed in response to needs and issues identified in the 2006 PSLP project and build on its major successes.

The level of uptake and expansion of the skills developed through the University’s involvement in the region, particularly in controlling savanna fires to improve rural livelihoods and in the use of GIS and satellite imagery for sustainable development planning, has been so impressive AusAID described the previous PSLP project as “one that it seems to have delivered on our holy grail, sustainable impact – something which the successor activity can only serve to strengthen”.

Activities of the new project will include:

  • A visit by the leaders of three eastern Indonesian provinces from Sumba, Flores and West Timor to CDU for a symposium on rural development in Nusa Tenggara Timor
  • Field training in land resource appraisal for Indonesian government officers with Northern Territory government staff out of Darwin
  • A GIS training and discussion forum in Kupang
  • On-ground community Agroforestry and savannah fire management training and forums in Flores.

For more information go to the project website