$25 million has been allocated for an emergency intervention fund, while a further $25m will be made available to support wildlife rescue, zoos, natural resource management groups, Greening Australia and Conservation Volunteers Australia.
$5 million of this initial investment will see Greening Australia lead the development of a strategic program to build and secure native seed and plant supply for landscape restoration, recovery and resilience in bushfire impacted areas and other vulnerable landscapes.
Greening Australia CEO Brendan Foran said: “A critical part of Greening Australia’s role will include the development and coordination of a ten-year native seed and landscape restoration strategy, which is needed now more than ever before as a result of the devastating effect of bushfires across the country.
“As a first step we will look at priorities like determining the native seed supply requirements to restore vegetation and wildlife habitat across fire-impacted regions.
“The recovery effort is a collaborative one. We will work with a broad range of stakeholders including local communities, Indigenous groups, environmental and natural resource management organisations, government, fire agencies and fire ecologists, regulators and land managers.
“Our existing work in the native seed area with experts from organisations such as the Australian Seedbank Partnership, Council of Heads of Australian Botanic Gardens, Australian Network for Plant Conservation and CSIRO, and the strong relationships we have within the Australian Land Conservation Alliance and the Climate Proofing Australia Alliance, are critical to this program.”
With Greening Australia’s proven expertise in working with the right partners, Mr Foran welcomed the comment from Minister Ley: “This is an historic environmental challenge and we need to be guided by scientific experts in the field, by our national research bodies, the Traditional Owners who have managed this land over tens of thousands of years, our farmers whose passion and commitment to the land spans generations and our local communities.”
The immediate need is to ensure local communities and critical assets are safe. You can help by supporting frontline services and organisations who are currently responding to the bushfire crisis.