Emerald Link co-design facilitation and project support
Emerald Link (EL) is a project developed in partnership between Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) and the Wilderness Society (TWS) to protect East Gippsland forests. The project’s inception was over ten years ago and has successfully built partnerships with various local communities and obtained government and private investment in nature-based tourism infrastructure and conservation economy proposals for East Gippsland.
In recent years, EL has employed four community-based advocates, one project coordinator, and one communications officer based in East Gippsland. These roles have been crucial in building support for the project and increasing reach among local communities and businesses.
Following the fires in East Gippsland, The Wilderness Society commissioned an independent review of the Emerald Link to identify key strengths and opportunities moving forward. The review acknowledged the strong community and nature-based tourism businesses’ support of EL, and made 14 recommendations.
A key recommendation of the recent review is to engage an outside facilitator to re-visit the recommendations (of the review) and the Emerald Link project vision, purpose and mission, to develop a strategic plan for the next phase that can be brought to potential funders for consideration.
The project will commission a facilitator to progress this recommendation, and to provide project support and training opportunities to increase the skills and capacity of local EL advocates. This will help EL to continue to build support for the project and to achieve its goals of protecting East Gippsland forests and promoting nature-based tourism in the region.