As business communities and corporate citizens recognise the increasing importance of sustainability in their business portfolios, a focus on environmental and social responsibility is becoming more prominent. Cottesloe Coastcare is an example of that.
The importance of community and corporate involvement in sustainability initiatives
At the UN General Assembly in September 2015, The Hon Julie Bishop MP, made a representative national statement endorsing the UN 2030 Agenda and amongst other issues, highlighted a key initiative for Australians with regard to the sustainable management of our land, forests, waterways and marine resources.
Through the introduction of community events organised by volunteer groups such as Cottesloe Coastcare (click here for their website), ecological sustainability is very noticeably being achieved along the coastal areas of the Town of Cottesloe. However, it requires support from all levels of the community to ensure success.
Also, active business and community leaders, Stantec, recently assisted to rehabilitate an ecosystem affected by unsustainable weed overgrowth of the Cottesloe Native Garden, near the Seaview Kindergarten at the intersection of Jarrad and Broome Streets.
This area was once in jeopardy of complete annihilation of several native flora species. But thanks to the care and co-ordination provided by community leaders and teams like these, the natural habitat is being restored.
‘At Stantec, our promise is to design with community in mind’, said Matthew Todd, General Manager (Australia). ‘We work hard to give back to the communities we serve throughout the year—but our Stantec in the Community Week initiative is a chance for us to go out, in the same week, and make a difference to areas like the Cottesloe Native Garden.’
Cottesloe Coastcare: restoring the native fauna
In 1983 naturalist, Robert Powell, identified 37 local native plant species. In October 2006, representatives of 30 local plants remained, despite massive weed infestation. Among the remaining plants, 8 species had less than 6 specimens remaining.
The area has been under the care of Cottesloe Coastcare since 2006 and is the only site in Cottesloe where there is such richness of local native remnant plant species. The limestone outcrops throughout the site provide a unique habitat for many plant species which grow only at this location and are found nowhere else in the Town of Cottesloe.
With the assistance of Kings Park and Botanic Garden, silky scaevola cuttings were taken and eight plants were grown. One stock plant was given to ‘Nuts about Natives Nursery’ in Beenup and seven other seedlings were planted in Cottesloe Native Garden near the solo parent plant and are flourishing.
By 2017 approximately 40 Silky Scaevola plants have grown well and flower each year, with the hope that they will set seed as time passes.
Cottesloe Coastcare volunteer, Robyn Benken, encourages all members of the community to demonstrate greater accountability and shape better outcomes for ecological sustainability by participating in events such as this.
“Corporate days mean a lot to us, when groups are prepared to give us 2-4 hours , particularly with things like weeding, because we are a very small group so everybody’s effort is much appreciated” she said.
Another volunteer organisation; the United Nations Association of Australia in WA has the role of localising the sustainable development goals of the UN globally, in order to promote sustainable development for current and future generations. To connect West Australians and instil a sense of local action contributing to global goals is a task that requires stepwise agendas, assistance from local government and a focus from the business community and the general public.