Like many in Australia and around the world, we are devastated by the current bushfires that are burning across many parts of our country. We are currently aware that at least three Greenfleet forests have been burnt, with many more still under threat.
As the situation continues, we are yet to fully grasp the lasting impacts. In December, the Guardian reported that more than 250 million tonnes of CO2-e (carbon dioxide equivalent) had already been emitted as a direct result of these fires. At the time, an estimated 2.7 million hectares had been burnt and since then, millions more hectares have been affected.
What is the impact of the bushfires on Greenfleet forests?
While the three forests burnt represent a small part of our total sites, we are deeply saddened by the loss. There are also Greenfleet forests in Victoria, NSW and Queensland that are currently under threat. While we are yet to determine the full extent of the damage, our Forestry team will assess the affected areas once it is safe and then make plans for the future of the sites.
What is Greenfleet doing to help the bushfires?
There are many services and organisations working hard to provide immediate support to individuals, communities and wildlife that are being affected on the frontline of the fires.
Sadly, bushfires and drought will continue, and their impacts will be exacerbated by climate change. At Greenfleet, we remain focused on long term climate action and we are committed to protecting our climate by capturing carbon emissions. This is why we feel that the most impactful role we can play for our future lies with increasing our native reforestation projects.
How does Greenfleet prepare for bushfires?
These fires are the worst we have seen in years and while climate change does not cause bushfires, it is clear that the effects of global warming are increasing their severity and impact. We know that we will face circumstances like this again.
Hazard reduction is carried out by fire authorities, national park staff and individual property owners. Coordination of activities relating to this happens through local bushfire management committees.
Greenfleet ensures that our forests can be accessed by emergency vehicles and together with our landowners, provide fire management access to all of our sites. This allows the appropriate organisations to respond in the case of emergency.
The current bushfires are extremely destructive. Because Greenfleet plants native biodiverse species, most of Greenfleet’s fire affected forests are likely to grow back naturally. This is especially the case for our more established, older forests. But we will be replacing or replanting when natural regeneration does not occur.
How you can help
It’s easy to feel helpless during a crisis like this, even if you are not directly affected. Here are four practical ways you can help and take climate action:
- Support affected communities and local wildlife shelters. This article from the ABC contains some links on organisations providing frontline support
- We encourage individuals and businesses to reduce their environmental impact and carbon emissions where possible
- You can offset the emissions you can’t avoid via native reforestation
- Advocate and vote for climate action at every opportunity.
Greenfleet remains committed to taking long term climate action and focused on the native restoration of land in Australia. With the help of our supporters, we will continue our reforestation efforts to build habitat, biodiversity and take critical climate action.