What is EcoTender?
Under EcoTender, landholders are invited to tender contracts to deliver these multiple environmental benefits, primarily by means of improved native vegetation management and revegetation works on their properties.
Successful bids include activities offering the best value for money to the community, based on ecosystem outcomes, the significance of the environmental assets affected by these changes and the cost. Successful landholders receive periodic payments as they deliver the management actions under contractual agreements with the DEPI.
DEPI has completed three demonstration EcoTender’s across Victoria to refine project management methodology, improve underlying science and to develop EnSym’s practical application. Now DEPI uses this experience to support environmental tenders that are being implemented by regional organisations such as Catchment Authorities and Landcare Networks. These partnerships allow DEPI to draw together information from across the state to further improve the tender process as well as increase the understanding of environmental markets. Importantly, these relationships ensure regional implementation of tenders is best-practice and environmental investment of public funds is cost-effective.
Landholders start by registering their interest to participate in EcoTender once it has been advertised. A DEPI Field Officer will then come and visit their property to advise on the environmental significance of the site. They will work with the landholder to identify on-ground actions that could be included in a five-year EcoTender Management Plan.
The Field Officer will write up the management plan based on actions agreed with the landholder. The plan could include planting new native vegetation, weed control or protection of existing native vegetation along waterways, around wetlands, in gullies and paddocks.
The landholder uses this Management Plan to prepare their bid price. The bid price is how much the landholder expects to be paid to do the environmental work over the time of the management plan.
Successful EcoTender bids are those that are the most competitive in providing value for money to achieve environmental outcomes based on the budget available in the tender. Landholders are notified of their success and receive annual payments for the agreed work after signing a contract with DEPI.
What actions are encouraged?
Under EcoTender, landholders are paid to manage their land and water resources in ways that provide environmental improvements.
- weed and pest control
- fencing and planting of native vegetation
- protection of gullies and wetlands
- and stock control.
How are economic principles incorporated?
EcoTender is a process that ensures the Victorian Government gets good value for money from public funds by running an auction of conservation contracts.
Landholders are required to think about what actions they might be willing to undertake, how much it would cost and what they need to be paid to complete those actions when they offer a bid.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries looks at those bids and the environmental benefit that arises from those activities, and identifies those landholders than can provide environmental outcomes at low cost.
Publications on the economic principles underlying ecoTender can be found here.