National landcare gong a Schur thing for Denmark eco-champion after 40-year career in conservation

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Basil Schur receiving his State award in 2019 from WA Landcare Network chairman Keith Bradby.
Camera IconBasil Schur receiving his State award in 2019 from WA Landcare Network chairman Keith Bradby. Credit: Ryan Ammon

A Denmark conservationist and environmental champion has been named Australia’s leading landcarer.

Basil Schur, who won the State title in 2019, was awarded the Australian Government Individual Landcarer Award at the National Landcare Awards held in Sydney last week.

The awards recognise individuals who have shown outstanding leadership and significant commitment to landcare across the country.

Mr Schur has dedicated close to four decades of his life to restoring the environment and protecting biodiversity through his work with Green Skills WA, Gondwana Link and establishing the Denmark Wetlands Centre.

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He has led community education programs, citizen science workshops and organised community environmental actions.

“I’m an immigrant to Australia from Zimbabwe so when I arrived as a teenager, I guess I fell in love with the environment as well as joining the then early conservation movements in Australia,” he said.

“It has basically been a love of wanting to care for nature and environmental restoration has been my passion. I see it more as a life calling, rather than a job.”

Mr Schur said he felt privileged to work alongside fellow conservationists, farmers and Noongar elders across the Great Southern.

“I feel that this isn’t so much an award just for me, but actually an acknowledgement that we are all part of a movement for wanting to see better outcomes for our environment,” he said.

“I actually feel it brings a responsibility to say at the grassroots there’s lots of individuals and groups working really hard but we want similar hard work and change at the level of government and business.

“We at the grassroots expect far more from our State and Federal governments as well as our corporate business leaders in terms of tackling climate change and our biodiversity crisis.

“Individual actions cannot be enough, we really need policy change and far more resources at both levels of governments and corporate business.

“With the COVID-19 crisis that we have been facing we have dropped the ball on realising that our society and our environment faces a similar crises in relation to climate change and the impacts that will bring.”

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