The 2019-2020 fires in Australia were devastating for communities and ecosystems. Unlike other parts of Australia, rainforests in New South Wales struggle to regenerate naturally which means trees to reforest this region after the fires are desperately needed. They won’t just provide a habitat for wildlife—of which 1 billion have been lost, and many more forced out of their environments—but will also sequester some of the carbon released by the bushfires, clean the air, attract rainfall, and lower temperatures. Maximo, our co-founder, speaks about his perspective on how we can the biggest impact in the aftermath of the devastation. "By all evidence, Australia once supported much larger swathes of rainforest than what has been left by human habitation. We've seen what is by far, the driest continent in the world, be completely modified for human use, including some of the most intensive and inappropriate use of its surface area for farming and primary industries of any country in the world. For this fragile, highly logged, mined and cattle intensive continent, this has meant further and further desiccation of a landscape that is now threatened with climate change, drought and increasing fires."
This leaves us at ReForest Now thinking pragmatically, how can we have the biggest impact in this scenario? By restoring first, those areas that are most abundant with rainfall, increasing their area, their circumference and sharing that moisture radiantly with the surrounding landscapes and regions. When ones rebuilds their life, their world, they can start with their strengths first, then branch out when it's safer. This is our attitude to Australia, a continent that will only be burning more and more into the 2020s. We can plant rainforests that store water in the ground, slow it's run off the sea and create the densest forest canopies known to the continent - those can prevent evaporation of precious water. Rainforest wrap themselves in vines that stop drying winds entering them, their dense canopies and moist dark undergrowth are resilient against embers that we see travelling long distances in fires and they harbor bacteria that are known to vaporise into the atmosphere and set further rainfall on themselves and nearby forests. Planting rainforests and restoring our wettest areas will benefit Australia at large. We believe in allowing rainforest to expand as much as the naturally shifting ecotones allow." We are so lucky to have partnered with Ecosia the search engine that plants trees! Ecosia searches raised funds for over 26,000 trees to be planted in fire affected regions of northern NSW. Check out their blog post about our partnership here https://blog.ecosia.org/australia/ We have begun planting the trees funded from Ecosia searches in the burnt areas within Nightcap National Parks and Wilson's Creek. Photo by Darcy Grant during the fires in Nightcap National Park, Northern NSW. One of the reforestation sites of 2020.