For millions of years, Australia’s ecosystems evolved in isolation—the continent’s distance from other land masses means 80% of its plants and wildlife cannot be found anywhere else on Earth. If we don’t protect Australia today, the nature that makes it so special could be gone tomorrow.
The Nature Conservancy has already helped preserve 120 million hectares of Australia’s lands and waters over the past ten years—that’s an area about the size of South Africa.
But there’s still so much to do: the same isolation that made Australia’s nature so unique leaves many of them without the protective measures they need to withstand modern environmental threats like invasive species, overdevelopment and climate change.
Though Australia’s vast woodlands and savannas may feel far away from us here in Hong Kong, we have an interest in helping ensure these one-of-a-kind habitats stay healthy forever:
- Grasslands store nearly as much carbon as forests. Destroying grasslands like Australia’s northern savannas can release huge amounts of climate-change-causing-carbon, expediting global warming and all of its effects that we’re already beginning to feel here in Hong Kong.
- These habitats are home to iconic species we can’t find anywhere else; species that remind us of nature’s wonder, and even her sense of humor. Species like kangaroos, echidnas, emus, and wallabies, can only be found in Australia.
- Many of Australia’s remaining indigenous populations depend on these lands for their survival, just as they have for thousands of years. Losing habitats like these could mean the disappearance of some of Earth’s most magnificent and ancient cultures.
How You Can Help
The Conservancy community, including our supporters and partners, has our boots on the ground in Australia, helping protect these crucial grasslands, wetlands and woodlands. We help local partner organizations acquire and preserve private lands they buy from willing sellers, and then support them in combatting invasive species on those lands, as well as implementing science-based fire regimes to keep those lands healthy.
On farms and ranches, we design grazing rotations that protect native grasses and keep invasive species at bay.
We also provide funding and land management expertise to the Australian government’s Indigenous Protected Areas (IPA) program, which helps indigenous groups conserve their traditional lands. With 25 IPAs covering 20 million hectares, supporting this initiative enables us to affect conservation in Australia on a massive scale.