2019 was a big year for WWF and our planet.
The things we’ve achieved this year wouldn’t have been possible without you, our supporters and our partners.
Together, here are just some of the things we achieved this year!
In August, there was global coverage of the devastating forest fires raging in the Amazon. Almost 73,000 fires were recorded here in 2019 (85% more than occurred in 2018). The world was saddened and outraged as we watched the ‘lungs of our planet’ go up in flames. But people from around the world rallied together to raise awareness and funds to help the Amazon, including our incredible WWF-Australia supporters.
Sadly, our own backyard wasn’t safe from the inferno. Dry conditions and climate change have exacerbated the bushfire season, and in November we saw catastrophic megafires rip through New South Wales and Queensland, burning through two million hectares of forests and killing an estimated 2,000 koalas, with many more left with nowhere to go.
But our supporters helped us get emergency funds to injured koalas and wildlife.
Towards Two Billion Trees
This year, WWF-Australia launched an ambitious national plan, Towards Two Billion Trees to stop excessive tree-clearing, protect what we have left and restore what we have lost. By 2030, we aim to have saved and grown two billion trees! It takes a collaborative effort - and thanks to you and our partners, we’ve begun to take the first steps to restore what’s been lost.
Turtles in paradise
Increasing temperatures due to climate change are impacting the ratio of male to female turtles. The hotter the sand temperatures, the more females are produced. With the support of our partners, Koala, we trialled new methods to cool turtle nests on Milman Island in the waters of northern Queensland… and after months of trials, shading and irrigation showed successful results and produced more healthy male hatchlings!
More quolls incoming (+ babies)!
The journey to re-establish a wild population of eastern quolls on Australia’s mainland took another big step forward this year! Another 40 eastern quolls were reintroduced to Booderee National Park in Jervis Bay… and the first eastern quolls were born in the wild on the Australian mainland in over 50 years!
New heights for Antarctic whales
Tiny Antarctic krill are the cornerstone of the Antarctic food chain. But warming temperatures are driving declines in sea ice - habitat essential for krill to survive. Humpback whales are also competing with commercial fishing over this vital food resource.
This year, our scientists went above and beyond to see just how these threats are impacting Antarctic wildlife… using drone technology! The research they’re doing will help WWF-Australia advocate for a marine protected area in the Antarctic Peninsula.
#Connect2Earth for Earth Hour
This year, millions of people around the world switched off to #Connect2Earth for Earth Hour. We also delivered over 270,000 of your messages straight to Parliament House in Canberra, demanding stronger climate action!
Wild tigers on the rise
By 2010, we had lost over 95% of the world’s tiger population due to poaching and habitat loss. But the good news is, wild tiger numbers are on the rise!
Celebrating Our Planet with David Attenborough
This year, the mind-blowing Netflix series ‘Our Planet’, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, created in collaboration with WWF and produced by Silverback Films was released! If you haven’t watched it yet, it’s time to add Netflix & Chill to your end-of-year holiday plans ;)
March for our climate future
Everyone invited. Everyone needed. On September 20, WWF-Australia joined millions across our globe to demand stronger climate action! Hundreds of thousands of people took part in Australia for the largest Global Climate March in history.
A haven for dugongs in the northern Great Barrier Reef
In the northern Great Barrier Reef, marine species like dugongs are under threat by commercial gill net fishing. In 2018, our supporters helped us remove one of the last commercial gill nets from this critical dugong habitat, and this year 21,500+ of our amazing supporters showed their support for a Net-Free North by sending a message to the QLD Government.
That net that our supporters helped us remove from the northern Great Barrier Reef? Well, this year, WWF-Australia partnered with Vision Direct to upcycle the deadly gill net into sustainable sunglasses!
Don’t let nature go to waste
Over 24,000 Aussies signed to keep plastics out of nature and encourage politicians to ban the 10 worst single-use plastics. Australians also joined over 1.5 million people across the world urging leaders to take global action on plastics.
Later in the year, WWF-Australia released the nation’s first ever plastic scorecard - with South Australia leading the way with their strong action on plastics.
Saving the Kimberley from an oncoming threat
Our native species in the Kimberley are under threat from the deadly cane toad invasion. A handful of organisations, including WWF-Australia, have come together to form the Cane Toad Coalition, and using innovative methods and taste aversion therapy to teach native predators not to eat toxic cane toads.
Business Renewables Centre
In 2018, the Business Renewables Centre Australia was founded in collaboration with WWF-Australia, Climate-KIC and the Institute for Sustainable Futures (UTS). And in just a year, BRC-A has grown to support over 240 member organisations as they made the switch to renewable energy.
10 years with the Gudjuda Land and Sea Rangers
This year, we celebrated 10 years of working with the incredible Indigenous rangers from the Gudjuda Reference Group. The Gudjuda Rangers have monitored, tagged and released a total of 1,316 green turtles, as well as helping the community clean up waterways, pick up rubbish and look after Land and Sea Country. WWF-Australia is proud to support the amazing work they do!
First steps to restore the Yorke
The first steps to restore the spectacular Yorke Peninsula landscape have begun! This year, we began construction of the 23 km predator-control fence to help protect native species from feral predators.
This is just the beginning of a five-year-long project where we’ll be working with our partners to reintroduce locally extinct species across the southern Yorke Peninsula, including the brush-tailed bettong!
Thank you for all your support in 2019.
Merry Christmas from WWF-Australia, and have a safe and happy holiday!