WWF-Australia is greatly saddened by the loss of life and property in the bushfire tragedy gripping Australia.
Yesterday WWF-Australia announced its assessment with scientists that more than 1 billion animals may have perished in these fires that so far have burnt the equivalent to the whole of country of Austria.
We have been touched by the generosity of so many of our supporters and partners in Australia and around the world during this national disaster, and we are announcing that we have committed an initial $500,000 for immediate wildlife rescue, care and recovery.
This is just the beginning. The science tells us that the scale of the devastation is unprecedented and the recovery work ahead is immense. Today we are calling for global support to establish a AUD$30 million Australian Wildlife and Nature Recovery Fund.
The full extent of damage will remain unknown until the fires subside. Whilst we may not have enough details for a complete solution yet, we do know we will need a national wildlife and nature recovery plan to deliver:
• Wildlife response - including partnering with wildlife response organisations, communities and scientists nationally for a swift and effective response and recovery at scale.
• Habitat restoration for people and nature - including restoring forests and damaged wildlife habitat, stopping deforestation, including cultivating habitat connectivity, core habitat and Indigenous and rural fire management.
• Future-proofing Australia - including driving innovative solutions to help mitigate climate change, driving climate preparedness, species adaptation and long-term wildlife and nature conservation efforts towards securing Australia’s natural resources for people and nature.
Over the last 40 years WWF-Australia has worked on species conservation and habitat and landscape management across Australia, in partnership with Traditional Owners, communities, NGOs, scientists, businesses and governments. WWF-Australia will use funds to work with these partners over the coming weeks, months and years to implement this plan.
To donate to the $30 million Australian Wildlife and Nature Recovery Fund, visit your local country WWF-Australia bushfire appeal website or the WWF-Australia appeal here.
Now is the time to redouble our efforts together with our partners and supporters around the world to restore what has been lost in a time of climate emergency.