Initiative: Victorian Rabbit Action Network
Institution: Agriculture Victoria
Problem: By burrowing and reproducing at high rates, the European Rabbit created unstable land use, which affected the State of Victoria. The community saw the need to coordinate multi-disciplinary knowledge and expertise, as well as reframe the relationship between local government agencies and citizens to better mitigate and manage an invasive species in Australia.
Solution: The Victorian Rabbit Action Network (VRAN) forges communication and provides the opportunity for information exchange between the local community and local government on how to address the invasive rabbit species. VRAN does so by (i) supporting and facilitating collaboration through engagement; (ii) engaging marginalized voices of land managers, and traditional landowners together with others to frame the problem; (iii) deliberate on policy and other means of interventions, and (iv) consider how the proposal could affect the community.
Impact: VRAN records lessons learned to help adapt response mechanisms and future interventions to control the invasive species problem. In four years, VRAN has reached over 5,300 people, covering 2.4 million hectares of land that are affected. Surveyed responses and evaluations of the project have indicated a fundamental shift in invasive species management towards a community-led approach with the exchanging of knowledge and expertise. It also includes an engagement with policymakers to help local government pass better policies.