Since 2007, $2 from every WOMADelaide ticket has been re-invested locally to offset the festival’s carbon emissions through diverse revegetation plantings in South Australia. These plantings are coordinated through Greening Australia at various sites, and the ‘WOMADelaide Forest‘ now covers over 85 hectares, capturing carbon and restoring habitat for local species as they grow.
This year, the iconic festival’s offset funds are contributing to a planting across 17 hectares through the board’s ‘Back from the Brink‘ project.
A group of volunteers braved the wintery July weather to put in the WOMADelaide seedlings, which will help restore shrubland and woodland heath to improve the long-term viability of threatened species such as the endangered Mount Lofty Ranges Chestnut-rumped Heathwren and the critically endangered Western Beautiful Firetail Finch.
Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board’s Regional Ecologist Luke Price explained: “Through the Back from the Brink project, we are aiming to recreate additional heath (closed-shrubland) habitat to reduce the extinction risk of a group of highly endangered bird species.
“The revegetation is being established according to the birds’ habitat structure requirements and takes into account their dietary preferences. It will also benefit other species associated with heath habitats, including the nationally endangered Southern Brown Bandicoot.
“We have already seen the Beautiful Firetail using areas just like these WOMADelaide plantings, which were revegetated only five years ago. This is a big step towards improving the recovery prospects of these area-sensitive threatened species.
“We still have a long way to go and need to create thousands more hectares of habitat by revegetating previously cleared land, but these early results are confirmation we are on the right track.”
The collaboration between Greening Australia, WOMADelaide, Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board and local community shows what can be achieved if we all work together to reduce our impact and look after our local environment – and each other.