SYDNEY, July 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Two of the country’s leading environmental organisations, Greening Australia and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)–Australia, today announced a strategic partnership galvanised during the 2019-20 Australian bushfire season, with the primary goal to mainstream innovative, nature-based and scalable solutions that will build nature’s resilience in a changing climate.
The partnership will experimentally test, validate and scale practical climate-ready restoration approaches nationally, designed by eminent scientists across Australia. In an example of just one of the series of innovative projects within the partnership, Greening Australia and WWF-Australia will employ eco-evolutionary approaches to identify ‘super seed’ that has enhanced climatic and fire-tolerant traits to replant trees in bushfire-affected areas.
Climate-ready restoration activity will be experimental in nature, informed by existing scientific and Indigenous ecological knowledge, and delivered using scientific methodology that sets and tests hypotheses through data collection, modelling and on-ground experimentation. Importantly, these science-led projects will be tested for their feasibility and ability to mainstream on-ground delivery across the restoration sector.
The two organisations have committed a total of $20 million in initial climate-ready restoration projects and are calling for an additional $30 million in funding from the Australian public and private sectors to enable delivery of the total proposed program of work.
Brendan Foran, CEO, Greening Australia said, "We are now living with recurring natural disasters across Australia that are affecting people and nature in ways and at scales that we have not previously witnessed – including the devastating bushfires of 2019-2020. Our partnership for Climate-ready Restoration is designed to improve the long-term resilience of the Australian environment in the face of climate change. It is focused on biodiversity and ecosystem restoration, with an emphasis on supporting communities and strengthening the economy. To help us prepare for and adjust to both the current effects of climate change and the predicted future impacts, we urgently need to mainstream new, practical, nature-based solutions. This is the driving mission of our partnership."
Dermot O’Gorman, CEO, WWF-Australia said, "This program is not business as usual. We are already witnessing the impacts of a changing climate and need to urgently think and act differently. Science and innovation that translates into on-ground delivery are at the heart of our climate-ready approach. Many of the projects that will be funded by this program will trial innovative technology or science-led approaches that aim to accelerate delivery, amplify data collection and fast-track outcomes."
"This partnership is an example of how the environmental sector can lead collaboration between other strategic partners, universities, business, government and the community and find new ways to work together to ensure the Australian environment is climate-ready and our flora, fauna and communities are resilient to the changing climate," O’Gorman continued.
Adrian Turner, CEO Fire and Flood Resilience initiative, Minderoo Foundation and one of the first partners to come onboard said, "We are pleased to be part of this program, to pilot new ways to regenerate landscapes in Australia’s most vulnerable regions so that they can be more resilient against fires. It is essential that we work together across sectors to optimise our environments so that we can reduce the devastating impact of these climate induced extreme weather events in the future. The Climate-ready Restoration program is directly aligned with the Healthy Landscapes Mission, which is part of a national blueprint to reduce the harm caused by fires and floods and lift resilience by 2025.
 The Climate-ready Restoration partnership takes a science-led approach to developing large-scale, practical action to help nature adapt to a changing climate. Climate-ready Restoration solutions include (but are not limited to):
- Practical, nature-based solutions such as ‘climate-ready seed’
- Planting designs that measurably reduce climate-induced risk for plants, animals and people
- Exploring new technologies, partnerships and funding models to deliver restoration at the scales required to build nature’s resilience in a changing climate