As part of our Bushfire Recovery and Rainforest Protection 2020 Grants Campaign, we decided to do things a little differently and have been very fortunate and excited to partner with 3 environmental not-for-profit organisations – Rainforest Rescue, Friends of the Koala and ReForest Now. In this article we are introducing our partnership with Rainforest Rescue in more details to share what they are doing to preserve and protect rainforests, especially in times of potential bushfire risk.

Rainforest Rescue is a small not-for-profit conservation organisation accomplishing significant conservation outcomes in the Daintree Lowlands and we are excited to be able to work with them to help protect the world’s most ancient rainforest. Their mission is to protect rainforests by buying back vulnerable coastal rainforest sites that are not already part of the protected Daintree National Park. Once they purchase these sites, their next step is to rehabilitate, transform and restore these degraded properties back into lush rainforest habitats. 

Sadly, rainforests are under constant threat from development and climate change. As part of our grants program this year, we were able to donate $20,000 to Rainforest Rescue specifically to enable land purchase and restoration of 4,000 square metres of unprotected Daintree Lowland Rainforest. 

Rainforest health is so crucial to maintain as species rely on resources in their established ecosystems for food and shelter. So far, 34 properties have been saved by Rainforest Rescue in the Daintree Lowlands, where they now remain forever protected and out-of-reach of threatening activities. The Daintree is also the most biodiverse place in Australia, so protecting this land is a unique opportunity that also extends protection to thousands of species of wildlife, many unique to Australia and many others that are at risk.

Recently, Rainforest Rescue received many messages of concern from their supporters and partners both nationally and across the world following the recent fires affecting the health of the Daintree Rainforest. 

Fortunately,  all of the properties and the regenerated land sites are safe and Rainforest Rescue’s Scientific Advisor, Dr. Robert Kooyman, took it upon himself immediately following the bushfires to perform assessments of the subtropical Gondwana Rainforests in Northern New South Wales and work with State government and National Parks to learn more about the damage caused by bushfires and what the land needs before putting any restoration plans in place. 

One significant observation that Dr. Robert Kooyman expressed in a recent talk was that healthy rainforests tend to repel fire. Following his research into bushfire affected areas in New South Wales, he discovered that undisturbed, healthy rainforests tend to repel fire whereas rainforests that have been disturbed by previous logging and other “management” practices are in fact the most vulnerable and therefore the most affected by bushfires. 

He observed that the same may apply to the Daintree, and perhaps even more so due to its fragility. To date, the Daintree has fortunately not experienced fires because of the very wet nature of the forests and also because the actual rainforest is still predominantly intact. 

In the coming months, we will feature more of these special projects and write about the research and work carried out by our partnership organisations on the ground so that we can better understand and appreciate their amazing efforts. 

For more information on Rainforest Rescue and how you can personally make a difference or contribution to their work, please contact Kristin on kristin@rainforestrescue.org.au  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *