I wouldn’t normally start a column with reference to global financial markets but it’s unlikely that anyone reading this newsletter will be unaffected by these developments. The impact in Australia is likely to reach into most of our homes.
Western bloodwood (Corymbia terminalis) on a desert dunefield on Cravens Peak Reserve, Qld. Photo Wayne Lawler/EcoPix.
History tells us that the financial and economic cycle is, if not boom and bust, then up and down. For the species we are seeking to protect though, it’s pretty much all down at the moment – hence the need for Bush Heritage’s work to continue apace.
We face an environmental crisis in Australia but a lot of people are still burying their heads in the sand. This crisis goes beyond the creeping and insidious effects of climate change. There is continued loss of habitat through land clearance and other activity, a proliferation of introduced plants and animals, and inadequate and inappropriate fire regimes.
All these things affect the ability of our unique wildlife to thrive in the wild, as they are able to do on Bush Heritage reserves.
In the same week in October that the G20 met in America and financial stocks plummeted, the IUCN released its Red List of Threatened Species at its Barcelona conference of over 8000 conservation delegates. In Barcelona the future of the planet really was at centre stage and the most comprehensive assessment of the world’s mammals has confirmed an extinction crisis, with almost one in four at risk of disappearing forever.
And it’s more than just the mammals. Australia already has the worst rate of mammal extinctions of any developed country – and all in the short timeframe of European occupation. At Bush Heritage we are concerned about the full diversity of life on Earth.
Bush Heritage has a plan to protect those species in our care now and a long-term plan to protect 1% of Australia by 2025.
As you consider your gifts, social investments or philanthropic intent at year’s end, I want to encourage your continued support for Bush Heritage. We need it more than ever as we build our conservation management over 31 properties and extend our conservation partnerships with Indigenous people and other neighbours.
With our volunteers, research partners and staff we are developing important programs that must be maintained to safeguard the health of our land, our waterways and the native plants and animals that depend on them.
Doug Humann, CEO