Cumberland Plain Research

Enhancing Cultural, Conservation and Restoration Outcomes in Western Sydney

Survey now open

We would like to invite you to help us prioritise the research that will support one of the largest strategic conservation planning exercises ever undertaken in Australia!

This survey has been designed by Western Sydney University to invite stakeholders, experts and community members to provide input into a “Research Strategy to support the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan”.

Your response to this survey will be used to determine the importance of key knowledge gaps and prioritise research in the final strategy that will help to conserve and restore the biodiversity (plants, animals and ecosystems) in Western Sydney’s Cumberland Plain.
The survey will close at 5pm on Friday 16 December 2022.

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  • Comment on the draft Research Strategy

    The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has released the draft CPCP Research Program Implementation Strategy to support the delivery of the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan (CPCP) (opens in a new window).

    Provide your feedback on the draft Research Strategy – it’s open for comment on the department’s website until 24 February 2023.

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    Call for research partners

    Western Sydney University has been awarded funding to implement the first four years (Stage 1) of research under the program.

    The objectives for Stage 1 are:

    • Strengthening Aboriginal knowledges and practices
    • Prioritising sites for shared cultural, conservation and restoration values
    • Enhancing the health and resilience of ecosystems
    • Improving management of climate change risks
    • Identifying cost-effective management practices to enhance biodiversity.

    We are looking for people to engage, partner and conduct research in collaboration with Western Sydney University and the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

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    About the Research Strategy

    The draft CPCP Research Program Implementation Strategy was developed by a team from Western Sydney University in collaboration with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment to guide the delivery of a 35-year research program that will help achieve the CPCP’s outcomes in Western Sydney.

    The Research Strategy will:

    • help to improve knowledge about the area’s threatened species and ecosystems and our ability to manage, restore and monitor plant, animal and ecosystem responses to our efforts
    • deliver the data and new knowledge needed by the different stakeholders who are working to conserve and restore the native plants and animals of the Cumberland Plain.

    The Cumberland Plain is the Country of the Darug, Dharawal and Gundungurra peoples while Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from many other groups also live in, or have care relationships with, the area. The Strategy will also recognise the need to undertake research to support Aboriginal peoples to maintain their distinctive cultural, spiritual, physical and economic relationships with the land and waters in the Cumberland Plain.

    The draft Research Strategy proposes research priorities around four key themes:

    1. Supporting Aboriginal connections: Partnering with Aboriginal peoples on research which helps maintain their distinctive cultural, spiritual, physical and economic relationships with their land and waters in the Cumberland Plain.
    2. Engaging with peoples and cultures: Understanding the attitudes and behaviours of the community toward biodiversity and conservation values found in the Cumberland Plain and how these can be positively influenced.
    3. Conserving threatened species and ecosystems: Understanding the ecology, habitat requirements, the geographic distribution and genetic diversity of species and ecological communities and in particular, their likely responses to changing land use and climate.
    4. Restoring and reconstructing ecosystems: Understanding how to successfully restore degraded ecosystems and overcome barriers to enable the reconstruction of functional habitats to enhance the extent and value of conservation areas in the Cumberland Plain.

    The strategy identifies research priorities in four key themes to support the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan, though many priorities cut across multiple themes.

    CPCP - 4 Key Themes

    Our People

    Program LeadPaul Rymer (opens in a new window)
    Supporting Aboriginal connectionsGawaian Bodkin-Andrews (opens in a new window)
    Engaging with peoples and culturesNeil Perry (opens in a new window)
    Conserving threatened species and ecosystemsPaul Rymer (opens in a new window)
    Restoring and reconstructing ecosystemsUffe Nielsen (opens in a new window)
    Chief InvestigatorsMatthias Boer (opens in a new window); Yolima Carrillo (opens in a new window)Ben Moore (opens in a new window); Rachael Nolan (opens in a new window); Elise Pendall (opens in a new window); Jeff Powell (opens in a new window); Markus Riegler (opens in a new window)Juan Francisco Salazar Sutil (opens in a new window)
    Research Program Co-ordination, Partnerships, and EngagementVera Brinkel (opens in a new window)
    PhD Candidates 
    Barriers to success in ecological restoration: Soil health promoting ecosystem function and resiliencePaola Raupp
    Resilience of biodiversity and ecosystem function in relation to vegetation structure in remnant vegetationCaitlin Dagg
    Prioritisation of sites through shared social, cultural and conservation valuesEmmanuel Ugwu
    Effect of Elevated Temperatures and Drought Stress on Seed Germination and Functional Traits of Seedlings in the Cumberland PlainChaminda Alahakoon

    Proudly co-funded by the
    NSW Government Department of Planning and Environment
    and Western Sydney University

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