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Arid Edge Environmental Services is the social-enterprise arm of the Arid Lands Environment Centre. They specialise in designing solutions for more sustainable arid communities and landscapes, and help to keep ALEC’s engines running. 

Arid Edge is one of the unique success stories of ALEC. Established in 2013, Arid Edge has grown into a viable social enterprise - engaging partners on a commercial level as well as through a strong community development framework as an engine for positive environmental and social outcomes. 

Arid Edge have a wide range of expertise from landscape design and construction, food security and horticulture, land management, sustainability consulting and community development. By applying a sustainability and social justice lens to everything they do, Arid Edge support ALEC's vision of healthy futures for arid lands and people. 

Learn about Arid Edge's projects

Food security in Indigenous communities

Arid Edge deliver a food and nutrition focused program in Indigenous communities designed to tackle food insecurity and poor health through edible gardens and health education.  Arid Edge partners with communities to plan and build gardens that provide people with a local source of affordable fresh fruit and vegetables.  This is combined with a hands-on gardening, nutrition education, cooking and hygiene program to help creating lasting change to eating behaviour. 

The Amern Mwerr Good Food project has been operating in the Utopia Homelands since 2009 and in Alice Springs Town Camps since 2019

Bush care and land management

Arid Edge works on land management and bush regeneration projects to protect and restore biodiversity. Their model prioritises Indigenous partnerships, training to build a local workforce and engagement with Traditional Owners. 

Arid Edge’s bush care crew have been managing sacred and ecologically important sites in and around Alice Springs since 2018.  Native rare and threatened flora and fauna species are at risk due to fire impacts and the spread of invasive weeds. 

In January 2019,  survey data showed an average of just 2.28 native species and 61% cover of buffel grass across 25 monitoring sites.  Data collected in 2021 showed an average of 7.92 native species and 33% buffel cover. 

Arid Edge and Tangentyere bush care team tackling buffel grass

Climate change adaptation 

Adaptation is now a necessary response to the current and future impacts of climate change. In Central Australia, remote Indigenous communities are recognized as most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change which will exacerbate many of the existing inequalities faced by these communities. 

Community-led adaptation initiatives are often the most successful and effective, and Arid Edge works with communities to meet the challenge of climate change.  Their grassroots, participatory process puts local people in the lead of identifying key climate-related threats and the adaptive strategies needed to overcome them.

Arid Edge recently partnered with MacDonnell Regional Council to create a plan for the Kintore community. They looked at the climate risks now and in the future, and consulted with residents about their needs in order to come up with sustainable, culturally appropriate ways to increase resilience in the face of rising temperatures.