Approaches

The 'Triple bottom line' [Australia]

approaches_2668 - Australia

Completeness: 86%

1. Informação geral

1.2 Detalhes do contato das pessoas capacitadas e instituições envolvidas na avaliação e documentação da abordagem.

Pessoa(s)-chave

SLM specialist:
Name of project which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Approach (if relevant)
Book project: where the land is greener - Case Studies and Analysis of Soil and Water Conservation Initiatives Worldwide (where the land is greener)
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Approach (if relevant)
CSIRO (CSIRO) - Australia

1.3 Condições em relação ao uso da informação documentada através de WOCAT

The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:

Sim

1.4 Referência ao(s) questionário(s) sobre tecnologias da gestão sustentável da terra

Green cane trash blanket
technologies

Green cane trash blanket [Australia]

Elimination of burning as a pre-harvest treatment of sugar cane, and managing the resultant trash as a protective blanket to give multiple on and off-site benefits.

  • Compilador/a: Anthony J. Webster

2. Descrição da abordagem de gestão sustentável da terra

2.1 Descrição curta da abordagem

A new expression used by agriculturalists in Australia to explain why farmers change practices: the 'triple bottom line' implies economic, environmental and social concerns.

2.2 Descrição detalhada da abordagem

Descrição detalhada da abordagem:

Aims / objectives: A fundamental change has occurred in farming practice amongst sugar cane growers in the tropics of far north Queensland. Where it was once standard practice to burn cane before harvest (defoliating green canes for easier harvest), tradition has been turned on its head and now almost no-one burns. Instead a 'green cane trash blanket' system has developed, with multiple benefits and few or no drawbacks. There has been no official campaign or punitive sanctions imposed, no enticing financial incentives offered or charismatic environmental leadership - just a quiet technological revolution, based on the principles of the 'triple bottom line' (TBL).

Methods: TBL has recently emerged into common usage amongst agriculturalists in Australia. Rather than attributing farmers' actions as simple responses to economic stimuli ('the bottom line') TBL is a framework that helps explain the complexity of factors that influence farmers to modify their practices. TBL suggests that farmers do indeed respond to money, but also to environmental concerns, and furthermore to social considerations as well. This gives credit to farmers for being responsible stewards of the land. In this particular case, the transition in technology started in 1974, when sugar cane growers in the far north of Queensland were simply unable to burn their cane prior to harvest because of the exceptionally heavy rains. Instead, they had to harvest wet - and green. The technical implications were first, a slower harvest speed because machinery had to cope with a greater load of biomass, and second, a thick residual blanket of trash that covered the soil. The multiple benefits of mulching were recognised by a few growers, who then continued to harvest green cane. Non-burning spread - a technology now described as the 'green cane trash blanket'- until almost every grower adopted it within one generation. While the extension service has supported the transition, growers themselves tookthe initiative to change. There are indeed small financial benefits, chiefly in terms of reduced overall input costs, but growers have simultaneously been motivated by social and environmental considerations. Burning has come to be considered anti-social: a dirty practice, carrying the danger of fire spreading outside the targeted fields. Neither is it a pleasant task, requiring help of family and friends, often at inconvenient times.

Other important information: From an environmental perspective, the benefits of trash mulch are tangible in terms of improved soil quality, and reduced erosion rates. And, equally important, the end result is reduced damage to the close-by Great Barrier Reef with its sediment-sensitive living coral.
The triple bottom line(TBL) is an expression which has evolved in Australia to help explain why farmers act as they do. Its three components of economics, the environment and social aspects cover the considerations that cause farmers to modify technologies. TBL implicitly gives credit to farmer for being sensitive to multiple external signals. In this case the change in practice is from burning sugar cane to harvesting it green in Far North Queensland. This is a case where emerging conservation-friendly farmer practice and the goals of the environmental lobby have neatly coincided.

2.3 Fotos da abordagem

2.5 País/região/locais onde a abordagem foi aplicada

Country:

Australia

Region/ State/ Province:

Queensland

2.6 Datas de início e término da abordagem

Indique o ano de início:

1974

2.7 Tipo de abordagem

  • Tradicional/Indígena

2.8 Principais metas/objetivos da abordagem

The Approach focused on SLM only

(1) Demonstration and dissemination. (2) The spread of non-burning practices, specifically the 'green cane trash blanket' technology to promote sustainable and environmentally friendly sugar cane production. (3) Indirectly: to satisfy social concerns associated with burning of sugar cane.

The SLM Approach addressed the following problems: (1) Anti-social farming practice of burning sugar cane which also has negative environmental impacts, both in situ, and offsite in the coral reef. (2) Resistance to change in traditional farming practice.

2.9 Condição que propiciam ou inibem a implementação de tecnologia/tecnologias aplicada(s) segundo a abordagem

Normas e valores sociais/culturais/religiosos
  • Inibitivo

traditional way of doing things/social resistance

Treatment through the SLM Approach: demonstration and dissemination of benefits

Disponibilidade/acesso a recursos e serviços financeiros
  • Inibitivo

Higher costs of harvesting (a small premium charged by contractors per tonne of green cane harvested).

Treatment through the SLM Approach: These costs are offset by lower tillage input, no costs associated with burning, and lower inputs of agrochemicals also.

Quadro jurídico (posse de terra, direitos de uso da terra e da água)
  • Propício
  • Inibitivo
Conhecimento sobre gestão sustentável da terra, acesso a suporte técnico
  • Inibitivo

Harvesting machines at first were not so well able to cope with the greater biomass to be harvested.

Treatment through the SLM Approach: Manufacturers developed higher capacity harvesters.

3. Participação e papel das partes interessadas envolvidas

3.1 Partes interessadas envolvidas na abordagem e seus papéis

  • Usuários de terra/comunidades locais

There is no difference between men and women in principle, though de facto most growers are male.

  • Governo nacional (planejadores, responsáveis pelas decisões)

politicians (govt. agencies)

  • environmentalists
3.2 Envolvimento do usuários de terra/comunidades locais nas diferentes fases da abordagem
Envolvimento do usuários de terra/comunidades locais Especifique quem estava envolvido e descreva as atividades
Iniciação/motivação Automobilização starting up the practice; starting up the practice of green cane trash blanket (GCTB)
Planejamento Nenhum
Implementação Participativo spreading the word; growers spreading the word, support by extension services
Monitoramento/avaliação Participativo growers joining hands with research; formal and informal disseminations of observations
Research Participativo growers joining hands with research. Quantifying benefits short, long term and downstream

3.3 Fluxograma (se disponível)

Descrição:

Institutional framework Inter-relationships between sugar cane growers and other stakeholders.

3.4 Decisão sobre a seleção de tecnologia/tecnologias

Especifique quem decidiu sobre a seleção de tecnologia/tecnologias a serem implementadas:
  • Somente usuários da terra (iniciativa própria)
Explique:

sugar cane growers

Decisions on the method of implementing the SLM Technology were made by by land users* alone (self-initiative / bottom-up)

4. Suporte técnico, reforço das capacidades e gestão do conhecimento

4.1 Reforço das capacidades/formação

Foi oferecida formação aos usuários da terra/outras partes interessadas?

Não

4.2 Serviço de consultoria

Os usuários de terra têm acesso a um serviço de consultoria?

Sim

Especifique se foi oferecido serviço de consultoria:
  • nas áreas dos usuários da terra
Descreva/comentários:

Name of method used for advisory service: green cane trash blanket (GCTB) system; Key elements: visits, Field days, publications; (1) Advisory service was carried out through: Bureau of Sugar Experimental Stations (BSES).(2) Advisory service was carried out through: Bureau of Sugar Experimental Stations (BSES).

4.3 Fortalecimento da instituição (desenvolvimento organizacional)

As instituições foram fortalecidas ou estabelecidas através da abordagem?
  • Não

4.4 Monitoramento e avaliação

Monitoramento e avaliação são partes da abordagem?

Sim

Comments:

Technical aspects were ad hoc monitored by land users through observations
There were None changes in the Approach as a result of monitoring and evaluation: Not applicable.

4.5 Pesquisa

A pesquisa foi parte da abordagem?

Sim

Especifique os tópicos:
  • Economia/Marketing
  • Ecologia
  • Tecnologia
Dê mais detalhes e indique quem realizou a pesquisa:

There has been some ad hoc research carried out on technical parameters by both the BSES as well as CSIRO.

5. Financiamento e apoio material externo

5.1 Orçamento anual para o componente de gestão sustentável da terra da abordagem

Comentários (p. ex. principais fontes de recursos/principais doadores):

Approach costs were met by the following donors: government (national government, Bureau of Sugar Experiment Stations): 20.0%; other (growers themselves): 80.0%

5.2 Apoio financeiro/material concedido aos usuários da terra

Os usuários da terra receberam apoio financeiro/material para a implementação de tecnologia/tecnologias?

Sim

Caso afirmativo, especifique tipo(s) de apoio, condições e fornecedor(es):

By government (national government, Bureau of Sugar Experiment Stations)

5.3 Subsídios para entradas específicas (incluindo mão-de-obra)

  • Nenhum
 
Se a mão-de-obra pelos usuários da terra foi uma entrada substancial, isso foi:
  • Voluntário
Comments:

Farmers themselves provide labour

There are no subsidies connected to GCTB. Australia does not subsidise its sugar cane growers and sugar is sold at the world price.

5.4 Crédito

Foi concedido crédito segundo a abordagem para atividades de gestão sustentável da terra?

Não

6. Análise de impactos e declarações finais

6.1 Impactos da abordagem

A abordagem auxiliou os usuários da terra a implementar e manter as tecnologias de gestão sustentável da terra?
  • Não
  • Sim, pouco
  • Sim, moderadamente
  • Sim, significativamente

Considerable: nutrient losses reduced, erosion reduced, organic matter built up, etc.

Did other land users / projects adopt the Approach?
  • Não
  • Sim, pouco
  • Sim, moderadamente
  • Sim, significativamente

The 'triple bottom line' is probably active throughout Australia in influencing farmers??? decisions.

6.3 Atividades de sustentabilidade de abordagem

Os usuários da terra podem manter o que foi implementado através da abordagem (sem apoio externo)?
  • Sim
Caso afirmativo, descreva como:

By definition this is sustainable: it is an internal mechanism amongst farmers.

6.4 Pontos fortes/vantagens da abordagem

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
Farmers take the responsibility of choosing a land management practice that has a positive 'triple bottom line': environmental, economic and social benefits. (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: Support awareness raising and give appreciation to the on-site and off-site benefits; acknowledge sugar produced under this system an environmentally friendly and economic product.)
Has successfully stimulated the spread of the green cane trash blanket system. (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: Outsiders should continue to support farmers' multiple concerns.)
Sugar cane growing has previously had a bad environmental and social reputation, especially here, close to the Great Barrier Reef, which is a World Heritage Site. This change in practice, resulting from the 'triple bottom line' has changed the reputation of sugar cane growers. (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: Make this public.)

6.5 Pontos fracos, desvantagens da tecnologia e formas de superá-los

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
The fact that farmers are responsive to environmental and social as well as economic stimuli is covered up by conventional thinking that 'only money matters to them'. Investigation and documentation of the 'triple bottom line' is required.

7. Referências e links

7.1 Métodos/fontes de informação

  • field visits, field surveys
  • interviews with land users

Links and modules

Expand all Collapse all

Modules