Forever Wild's staffing goal is only to have a small team, so that most of the funds we raise go towards innovation, land management, and creating opportunities for local communities. So far so good, though that means we are busy! But we love it :-)
There has been a huge amount happening. Forever Wild is rapidly being recognised in Australia as a leading organsiaion in tackling the climate and biodiversity crisis. We have created an Australian first with our recent acquisition of 560,000 acres, blending donations with carbon finance. We are also now about to launch a world-first in finance for applied conservation management.... You'll have to wait until next time to learn more though.
On the ground, things are just as busy. The tropical north of Australia saw a huge Wet Season, and our Wetlands reserve literally had rivers flowing across the land. The wildlife is happy though.
Also, this year we will be helping a local Indigenous organisation to start running some tours on the reserve. We assisted three ladies to establish the company and to do their business planning, and we are looking forward to their first venture with us later in 2023.
Work has begun on our Western Deserts program, and initial surveys have revealed a population of Mallee Fowl. This extraordinary species is part of a family of birds only found in Australia and the islands of Papua New Guinea / Irian Yaja. They create large mounds of earth and leaf litter, where the heat from composting material incubates the eggs. The Mallee Fowl is adapted to very dry environments, and is a threatened species. We have also done initial surveys of the spinifex lands (a type of spiky, desert grass that provides shelter to small animals). With over 2000 sq km to explore, it will be some time before we have the data.
Perhaps most critical at this time is our contribution to the climate crisis. The two Western Deserts properties will sequester over 400,000 tonnes of carbon over the next 20 years, and already store millions of tonnes that will now never be released under our managment.
So far, so good!
Best wishes to everyone,
The Forever Wild Team
After nearly two years of hard work, we are proud to announce that Forever Wild successfully raised over $1.7m to permanently protect 560,000 acres of beautiful wilderness. This land, comprising two vast properties in Western Australia, now protects thousands of species of animals and plants, and the new tree growth under our management will draw down over 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Never has a project like Forever Wild, of such large ambition and scale, been so important. Our goal is 5,000,000 acres by 2030, and that is just the starting point.
The world is facing a major threat from human-induced climate change, and we need bold, ambitious solutions.
In December 2022, governments from around the globe agreed to try to protect 30% of the Earth. Currently, only 17% of the entire earth, including oceans, is protected.
THANK YOU to all our donors. We know how hard it is to truly understand how important $5 is, and what we do with it. So thank you for your trust in us.
How did we achieve this massive milestone? We have used all the donations from GlobalGiving and elsewhere, and concurrently raised impact investment for biodiversity. Combined, we raised $1.7m to buy the land, set up our programs, hire staff and set up the plan for the landscape.
In January we will upload the webpages for the two properties, so you can see what you have helped achieve, so please keep track of our website.
In 2023 we aim to do it all again, extending the Western Deserts Shared Earth landscape.
Please continue to support us, share our story on social media and encourage everyone you know to get involved and support the Forever Wild initiative in 2023.
If you have not read our last biennial report, find it here :-)
And finally, we wish everyone a very happy New Year from the Forever Wild team.
The past few months has seen a great deal of our energy placed into communicating how we do things, not simply what we do. Forever Wild was not established to simply be another replica of so many existing NGOs. It was established to demonstrate that there is another way to do business, another way to have a relationship with our planet.
Our projects are not the reason we exist. We exist to develop and demonstrate a powerful model to redefine how we share this Earth. That's why we call our landscapes Shared Earth Landscapes; we share these places with so many other species, and we expect them to allow society to use the natural world to feed our economic system. And yet society generally gives nothing back.
So Forever Wild set out to change that. Our model relies on circular economics, feeding financial resources back into nature and remote communities while drawing on donations and large pools of private capital.
The Tropical Wetlands Shared Earth Landscape remains our primary pilot project, where we have now clearly shown the value of ultra-low impact business as a way to finance effective protection of the natural systems. We use the proceeds to fund critical land management, such as cool burns. These early Dry Season fires prevent wildlife later in the year, which can destroy the habitat and kill the animals we work to protect. Cool fires move slowly, they don’t burn everything and they leave all the critical habitat components for the animals - such as the delightful but endangered Northern Quoll in the video below :-) Importantly, cool fires prevent the release of massive quantities of carbon from wildfire.
We also use the funds to support engagement with the First Nations people who used to roam this land, and who are the holders of deep knowledge about it.
In turn, the conservation and community engagement work we do in the landscape actually increases the value of the food that is produced, because that food is supporting a climate, conservation and cultural initiative. As it is higher value, we need less of it to be viable and therefore it has much less impact.
By supporting Forever Wild, you are supporting far more than a 'project'. You are supporting a movement, a way of thinking and doing business, and climate and conservation action that must endure.
Yes, 1 million acres! By 2024 we are confident that we will have expanded our Western Deserts landscape to 1 MILLION ACRES. We have a number of strategies in play, including working towards acquiring another 560,000 acres and developing programs on adjacent land wilderness land.
We know that simply creating more protected areas is not good enough, and will also never be enough to manage our climate challenges. While they are definitely important the scale is limited and does not acknowledge that we all share one Earth.
Therefore, as a socio-environmental enterprise, a great deal of Forever Wild's focus is on creating positive feedback loops from wilderness to society as tools to protect those wilderness areas. Unless we scale up efforts in a way that explicitly identifies human society, local economies and the environment as components of a whole, we will not succeed.
The granite rock above, photographed in the Western Deserts, is a superb example of the flow we need to create, even where the problem is hard to tackle! We all live here together, and we have no choice except to figure out how to create our own fully interconnected planet.
Thank you to all our donors We blend all donations with impact investment and so each $5 actually supports between 5 to 10 acres of wilderness!! Now THAT is making every dollar count.
Best wishes from the Forever Wild Team, Australia.
Hello to all our supporters, and thank you once again for assisting us to achieve our goals.
We have written a lot on our large-scale Western Deserts landscapes, and by the next report we hope to have some very exciting news from that way. But Forever Wild also has a magnificent property in the tropical savannas of Northern Australia, This property is incredibly diverse, a mix of ancient savannah woodland, and large ephemeral wetlands and creeks. Fire and rain are the major ecological processes in this part of Australia. When the Wet Season arrives, usually in December or January, the shallow lakes fill and black swans arrive to breed.
The invertebrate life is at its most spectacular at this time of year. Insects normally confined to the tree canopy or living in their juvenile stages become active as they search for mates, including giant stick insects nearly 20cm long! Brightly colored moths and small beetles crowd the lights at the main buildings at night, creating a feast for the geckos. Some larger ones appear too, and we collected (and released) the Rhinocerous Beetle in the photo a few days ago. He made a great ruckus while we tried to get photos and eventually we had to be content with a short video and a few screenshots.
It is incredibly rewarding to watch the Wetland reserve burst to life with the onset of the warm, tropical rains. These animals, great and small, share our Earth with us. They too have a right to life on this planet, and we must do everything we can to create landscapes where all species can live together.
Happy New Year and best wishes from the Forever Wild team in Australia.
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