The Australian wildfires of 2019/2020 became one of the largest natural disasters in history, with an unfathomable loss of life, property, wildlife, nature and land. Millions of dollars have been donated to Australia to help overcome the tragedy and our JoinTrafalgar partner, One Tree Planted, is part of the recovery efforts.
They’re joining forces with the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife to plant up to one million trees across five years in the affected areas. Read on to find out how we’re helping Australia regrow in partnership with One Tree Planted and how you can support Australia too.
The Australian wildfire crisis
Australia is no stranger to bushfires, however the 2019/2020 season was devastating on an unprecedented level. Months of severe drought and record-breaking temperatures fuelled a series of enormous bushfires across Australia. They began in June 2019 and raged on until early March 2020.
To understand the extraordinary destruction left in the wake of the bushfires, you need to look at the numbers. Over 17 million hectares burned across the country. That’s roughly half the size of Germany and more than the whole of England. To put that into perspective, the Amazon Rainforest fires last year burned around 900,000 hectares.
The fires killed at least 33 people across Australia and destroyed over 3,000 homes. It’s also estimated that over one billion animals were killed, with some endangered species driven to extinction.
Helping Australia regrow
The charity partner for Australia’s National Parks, the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife (FNPW), and global reforestation nonprofit organisation, One Tree Planted, have joined forces to help Australia regrow. On the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, they announced a five-year project to plant up to one million trees in Bushfire Recovery Nurseries around Australia.
Local communities will run the nurseries, aiding in the significant replanting of Australia’s tree species and wildlife habitats. Seedlings will be established from native tree species in each of the nursery locations. The project is focusing on rebuilding habits for affected species’ including the koala and the black glossy cockatoo. The project will plant the trees in national parks across Australia, along with other affected public and private lands.
“We are grateful to work with our long-term partner, the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife, on a crucial project to help rebuild what we have lost as a result of the devastating bushfires. This is an important step towards bushfire recovery and will pave the way for conservation projects in the future.”David Speirs, Minister for Environment and Water, South Australia
Our partner, One Tree Planted
One Tree Planted is a nonprofit on a mission to make it simple for anyone to help the environment by planting trees. They dedicate their efforts to creating a healthier climate, protecting biodiversity and helping reforestation efforts around the world, in partnership with local communities and experts. One Tree Planted has committed to donating over a million dollars AUD over the five-year plan to help Australia regrow.
“The world was deeply impacted by the loss and heartache Australia endured during its most horrific bushfire season. This partnership with FNPW in Australia is critical in restoring wildlife habitats, assisting the growth of native vegetation, and generally protecting the world’s biodiversity. It’s an essential intervention for Australia’s future and we will do everything we can to help.”Diana Chaplin, Canopy Director for One Tree Planted
JoinTrafalgar will contribute to the project funding through our partnership with One Tree Planted. Our partnership is powered by TreadRight, a not-for-profit foundation by The Travel Corporation, Trafalgar’s parent company. Treadright has supported over 50 sustainable travel projects around the globe.
We support One Tree Planted through our E-Documents Initiative. We plant a tree for every guest who chooses to receive travel documents electronically rather than printed and mailed. To date, more than 20,000 trees have been planted by One Tree Planted on behalf of TTC and our guests. Since 2017, we’ve restored more than 500 acres.
In 2020, all tree-planting from this initiative will support the reforestation in Australia. Switching to e-documents, rather than paper documents, not only reduces our environmental footprint but now it’s also helping Australia regrow.
How you can support Australia
On behalf of TTC, our hearts go out to all the people who suffered from the loss of life, property and nature during the bushfire crisis. The devastation is truly heartbreaking and we want to lend our support.
In December 2019, we donated $100,000 to the NSW Rural Fire Service. The funds went towards necessities including radios, fuel, food, floodlights, GPS for the trucks and training. We’re also supporting Australia in the aftermath of the bushfires, through our partnership with One Tree Planted.
If you’d like to join us in helping Australia, it can be as simple as choosing to receive your Trafalgar travel documents electronically. You can also donate to One Tree Planted to help them reach their goal of restoring over 6 million trees across the country in 2020.
If you want to help the Australian economy to recover after the bushfire tragedy (and now the COVID-19 pandemic), the best thing you can do is to take a trip through Australia once it’s safe to travel again. You’ll meet the locals and buy from the small businesses that have been the worst affected. Together, we can support Australia to rebuild and regrow, stronger than ever.
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