Being part of the solution

Gerard O'Neill (CEO, former)
Published 21 Dec 2017 

Photo by Steve Parish<br/> Photo by Steve Parish

I’d like to finish the year on an uplifting note.

Recently, a young Southern Cassowary was captured on video foraging on our Fan Palm Reserve in far north Queensland by our Yourka Reserve manager Paul Hales. We weren’t sure if they were visiting the reserve, so to see one choosing us as their home gives me a huge sense of pride.

This is a small block of highly biodiverse Fan Palm forest that we rescued from developers more than 20 years ago. Back then we had just a few thousand supporters who enthusiastically pitched in to purchase the reserve. They too should be tremendously proud, along with the many others of you who have since joined – enabling us to protect over 6 million hectares of land across this precious continent.

Further afield, last month over 1,500 scientists from around the world penned an ominous “Warning to Humanity: A second Notice”, a follow-up to their original letter published in 1992.

Unsurprisingly, the most alarming factors contributing to the demise of the planet over the past 25 years were identified as: climate change from burning fossil fuels; deforestation; and agricultural production.

Of the their 13 suggested strategies for restoring the Earth’s balance, Bush Heritage is already actively implementing six (and have been for decades) to make our world a better and more sustainable place, thanks to your generous, ongoing support.

They are:

  1. Prioritising the enact­ment of connected well-funded and well-managed reserves for a significant proportion of the world’s terrestrial, marine, freshwater, and aerial habi­tats.
  2. Maintaining nature’s ecosys­tem services by halting the conversion of forests, grasslands, and other native habitats.
  3. Restoring native plant communities at large scales, particu­larly forest landscapes.
  4. Rewilding regions with native species, especially apex predators, to restore ecological processes and dynamics.
  5. Increas­ing outdoor nature education for children, as well as the overall engage­ment of society in the appreciation of nature.
  6. Divesting of monetary investments and purchases to encour­age positive environmental change.

Rest assured, together we are making a real difference.

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe holiday season.

Best wishes

Gerard O’Neill
Chief Executive Officer
Bush Heritage Australia