Make More Good for June: Bush Heritage Australia

Edge Environment’s monthly ‘Make More Good’ donation sends $300 to a worthy cause nominated by a staff member. In June, Edge’s Senior Sustainability Consultant Nicole Thompson, chose Bush Heritage Australia to be the recipient.  Bush Heritage Australia bring Traditional knowledge and science together to return the bush to good health.

Ask anyone what’s special about Australia and there’s a good chance that our incredible and diverse wildlife and landscape will get a mention.

From eucalyptus forests of NSW…

…to the wet tropics of Queensland…

…and the red rocky gorges of Western Australia

Australia is less well known for is its alarming level of land clearing. Australia has lost almost 40% of its forests and Eastern Australia is ranked in the top 10 of the world’s major areas of deforestation, up there with the Amazon and Borneo. Australia is also leading the planet with some of the highest rates of plant and  animal extinction.

Our beautiful landscapes have been cleared to create pastures for livestock, logging, development, mining, and infrastructure. Vegetation management laws introduced in the nineties reduced the level of clearing significantly, but NSW and Queensland governments overturned these laws and clearing on private land has rapidly increased again.

We like trees for many reasons – they help prevent soil erosion and maintain water quality, are a natural carbon sink storing greenhouse gases, contribute rain to our local climates, and provide habitat to cool creatures like Carnaby’s cockatoo, the southern cassowary, Bennet’s tree kangaroo, and the black-flanked rock-wallaby. All of these animals are under threat as well as the iconic koala, recently listed as vulnerable to extinction in Queensland and New South Wales, all due to land clearing.

And so for this month’s Make More Good donation, I’m donating to Bush Heritage Australia. This not-for-profit’s purpose is to return the bush to good health. Their mission is in landscape-scale conservation through the purchasing of high conservation value land, with low levels of protection. I chose this organisation for two reasons.

Firstly similar to Edges philosophy, science underpins their conservation work and research informs their decision making. They use a selection process to choose priority landscapes and conservation assets of national importance. Their work is informed by knowledge of the land’s species and ecosystems, to ensure they can restore degraded land effectively, and rebuild native species populations.

Secondly they acknowledge they don’t have all the answers and that there is much to learn from generations of Traditional Owners. Bush Heritage Australia works closely with Aboriginal partners, bringing Traditional knowledge and science together in two-way learning and collaboration.  They have 24 active Aboriginal partnerships which encompass 4.9 million hectares of land being protected for conservation.

Bush Heritage Australia’s work protects our native plants and animals, while supporting and valuing our people and culture. They work across more than 6 million hectares, protect threatened ecosystems, and 5,812 species of plants and animals, including at least 235 threatened species. You can find out more at www.bushheritage.org.au

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