terrain nrmTerrain NRM is an environmental management organisation working in Australia’s Wet Tropics region of Far North Queensland. As one of Australia’s leading natural resource management bodies, our vision is to empower our communities to create a thriving and sustainable Wet Tropics.

We are an independent not-for-profit organisation with a team of 40 staff and 4 offices across the region in Cairns, Innisfail, Atherton and Tully.

Our highly skilled workforce includes specialists in sustainable agriculture, soil, water, biodiversity, planning, co-design, community and indigenous engagement, capacity building and program and project delivery.

Since 2003 we have been working with over 50 organisations and hundred of farmers and land managers to develop and implement a range of projects varying in scale from $30,000 to $15,000,000.

With the Great Barrier Reef in the global spotlight and right on our doorstep, we have been extensively involved in implementing reef water quality programs over the past 10 years, reaching over 80% of farmland in the Wet Tropics.

Collaboration is at the heart of everything we do.


A thriving and sustainable Wet Tropics  



We have identified pressing environmental issues, co-designed solutions, secured funding and successfully delivered many large environmental programs and projects across the region.


Terrain NRM is an award-winning innovator and thought-leader. In 2019 we were named in the AFR/Boss Magazine‘s Most Innovative Companies in Australia/NZ List. We have pushed boundaries with several cutting-edge projects.


We have secured more than $130 million for the region over the past 10 years to benefit the Wet Tropics environment and the Great Barrier Reef.


We have the experience and intellectual capacity to combine scientific research and local knowledge in order to lead the development of effective solutions.


We have developed productive partnerships with hundreds of farmers and land managers, and over 50 organisations. Our commitment to collaboration has led to the establishment of strong productive alliances, many of which are ground-breaking for Australia.


We are a consistent high achiever on the National NRM Region’s Organistional Performance Excellence Program and we have won several awards for planning, project design and innovation.


Terrain NRM was created in 2003 as part of Australia’s regional infrastructure for managing the country’s natural resources. We are one of 54 NRM bodies around the country that act as a conduit between governments, local groups and landholders.

The region that we have the privilege of caring for is the Wet Tropics in Far North Queensland. It spans 2.2 million hectares between the Daintree in the north, the Herbert River catchment in the south and the Atherton Tablelands in the west.

It is a complex environment and the only place in the world where two World Heritage Areas exist side-by-side – the world’s oldest living tropical rainforests and the Great Barrier Reef.

Despite accounting for less than 0.2 per cent of Australia’s landmass, the Wet Tropics is the most biologically diverse region in the country with:

  • 32% of Australia’s mammals
  • 40% of Australia’s bird species
  • 60% of Australia’s butterflies
  • More than 3300 species of plants, of which over 700 are not found anywhere else in the world
  • Over 600 coral species

Over 150 plants and animals in the Wet Tropics are listed as endangered and many of the region’s species and ecosystems are particularly sensitive to climate change.

However, the natural resources in the Wet Tropics – tropical rainforests, diverse mangroves, seagrass meadows and wetlands – also mean that the region has potential as a carbon sink.


The Rainforest Aboriginal People are the Traditional Owners of the Wet Tropics. Rainforest Aboriginal People are culturally diverse, with over 20 different language groups, and each group has different priorities for caring for country.

For  more information about the cultural connections of the Wet Tropics, go to the Wet Tropics Plan for People & Country.