to unite forces
The Great Eastern Ranges Initiative (GER) and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) have joined forces to this end. Over the next 12 months, we will roll out a number of projects aimed at restoring communities, wildlife, and natural areas that have suffered from severe wildfires.
It relates to three priority areas in New South Wales and Queensland: the Locker Valley, the Southern Border Ranges and the Great Blue Mountains. These areas have been hit hard by the devastating bushfires of 2019 and 2020. Organizations face the daunting task of emerging from the crisis and have a long way to go to repair all the damage.
Therefore, GER and IFAW have joined forces and jointly have additional capabilities to carry out further remediation work through our network of regional partners, working with local stakeholders: landowners, conservationists, and community groups. The projects build on and add value to the important work already done in these natural areas, through private initiatives and through the efforts of GER and IFAW.
Rebecca Kebble, IFAW’s Regional Director for Oceania, points out that recovery from wildfires takes time and must be done in partnership with the local community. It is important to build capacity and resilience. This means that people affected by wildfires must be part of the solution.
She explains: “The wildfires in the Black Summer were disastrous. They have left a trail of devastation across the region and have a long-lasting impact on animals and humans. That is why it is so important to be prepared to help not only during a disaster, but also afterward. ecosystems completely and it will take years, if not decades, to recover. Recovery is vital and we must do everything we can. IFAW continues to work with its partners to rescue and rehabilitate animals, but we also need to ensure that the animals have a safe place to return to.”
This important business is too big for one party. This is why IFAW is partnering with GER and its network of regional and local wildlife conservationists, various community groups, scientists and private landowners. In this way, we give our wild animals and our communities the opportunity to overcome this catastrophe and live together in balance.
Repair work is diverse and includes:
- plant trees and shrubs so that native animals such as koalas, couscous and gray-headed bats have places to live and find food;
- placing nest boxes and providing nesting space in tree cavities;
- Concluding agreements with private landowners on conservation and recovery planning after forest fires;
- Community forums to build skills and knowledge locally.
More from the Great Eastern Domains Initiative
Since 2007, the Greater Eastern Ranges Initiative (GER) has been working to bring people together to combat the loss of local wildlife and their habitats, provide natural solutions to the climate crisis, protect vital resources and create habitats and ecosystems in which nature and people can thrive. Flourish. Today we are one of the largest conservation initiatives in the world. Through our extensive network of local, regional and national partners, we work to create environmental and socio-economic solutions and improvements in health and culture in Eastern Australia.
PHOTOS: Stacy Hedman, IFAW (Main image: Ember, a rescued koala, perched on a branch in her home with IFAW Partners Koala friends)
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