PIRSA is committed to a number of priority areas in sustainable primary industries:
The PIRSA Climate Change Management Framework (January 2011) (PDF 716.8 KB) identifies PIRSA’s strategy and action in South Australia’s primary industries (agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture, forestry, minerals and energy resource sectors) to support ecologically and economically sustainable development under changing climatic conditions. During 2011, an Action Plan will be finalised and implemented.
The Climate Change Act 2007 provides measures to reduce greenhouse gases in SA and a Climate Change Adaptation Framework centred on regional and sectoral adaptation is being prepared (2011).
See Adapting to Climate Change for further discussion of climate change in primary industries.
In 2004 the South Australian Government enacted legislation to promote sustainable use and management of the State's natural resources. The Natural Resources Management Act 2004 established an integrated management arrangement that:
Administering the Act and achieving its aims are largely in the hands of the eight regional NRM Boards but the support of individuals and organisations, including farmers, is vital.
The guiding document for natural resources management is the State Natural Resources Management Plan 2012-2017 (PDF).
PIRSA works with other agencies and organisations in managing and utilising natural resources, including:
The Summary of Environmental Legislation for Primary Production in SA provides a focus on the activities commonly carried out by farmers (for example: using chemicals, accessing water resources, managing wastes) and the State and Commonwealth legislation that regulates those activities. PIRSA updates details annually. For the latest version, go to Summary of Environmental Legislation.
The full range of South Australian legislation may be found at http://www.legislation.sa.gov.au/browseActs.aspx (external web site)
Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) is 'development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.' (WCED, 1987). Economic development in agriculture through ESD is one of PIRSA's major goals.
Farmers are 'stewards' of our natural resources. They not only utilise our soil, water and ecosystems to produce food and fibre but also manage, preserve and improve them for future generations. In this role they face a challenge - to balance use of natural resources for economic production while maintaining the value and productivity of land, water and ecological systems (ecosystems) and resources in the long term, both on and off-farm.
PIRSA aims to support sustainable agriculture by providing a holistic approach to natural resources management and sustainable development via:
A systematic approach to farm business adopted by many producers helps to improve efficiency, raise productivity and lessen the impact of farming on the environment. In principle, this is a simple cycle that provides for Planning, Operations, Monitoring (operations and results) and Review (of the system and its outcomes). In further detail, it involves analysing current activities and results of the business, setting objectives and targets, recording activities and conditions and subsequently reviewing and revising the process in light of experience.
Environmental Management Systems and farm or property management systems provide a valuable process to establish orderly procedures and improve efficiency and productivity while working to reduce environmental impacts of Agricultural operations. Further information on EMS is available from the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF external site).