Nature NSW Autumn 2020

Anne Dickson, President of National Parks Association of NSW

I know how deeply many of you have been impacted this spring and summer through loss of lives, homes, property, livelihoods, cultural items, and the natural areas and wildlife we love.   This has been a frightening time where community has notably come to the fore, joining together to fight for people’s lives, for property and for our plants and animals.  The outstanding efforts of firefighting and emergency services people cannot be praised enough, local communities have selflessly supported and protected each other, family and friends have gathered around those who have suffered losses and people have taken action to rescue and care for native animals.

We have now had rain, the fires are stopping and recovery is starting. Burnt tree trunks are sprouting leaves giving them that wonderful furry look, green patches are reappearing on blackened ground and repairs are underway – some positives to focus on as the long recuperation starts.  This recovery will see a lot of work to be done and will be accompanied by continuing debate and inquiry regarding what should or should not happen next. While some of this debate is and will continue to be acrimonious and short sighted, NPA will need to concentrate on directing debate away from blame towards clarity as to the lessons to be learned for constructive long-term outcomes.

Our NPA focus post-fire is on the places our native plants and animals need for their recovery and resilience. As a community with knowledge and experience we have much to offer. We will certainly be responding to the various inquiries that have and will be called. There is a need to gather information about what is lost, what is left and what is recovering. We need to advocate for the protection of unburnt natural areas and refugia – the biodiversity arks for recovery and resilience. We need to encourage and support strong and immediate action on pest and weed management to take advantage of their post fire exposure as well as avoid their proliferation. We need to participate in on ground restoration and recovery projects and communicate widely within our communities to help people understand, and to promote the need for wildlife resilience as well as community resilience in a world with a significantly altered climate.

But most importantly we need your help through your expertise, information gathering and sharing, advocacy, stories, contribution to on-ground projects, and of course financial support. You will find more detail on how to help throughout this edition of the journal and on our website. Thank you for being a member of our NPA community and take care.

Nature NSW Online  – Autumn 2020

In this edition: