As part of the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife (FNPW) Landscape Resilience Program the Fire Wise project will be delivered in 10 key Local Government Areas across the Bega Valley, New South Wales; East Gippsland, Victoria; and the Adelaide Hills to Kangaroo Island corridor in South Australia. The aim of the project is to help communities mitigate bushfire risk through community-based natural resource management initiatives.
FNPW began its Bushfire Recovery project in 2020 as a rapid response initiative after the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires which burnt an area totaling 10.2 million hectares, with approximately 8.2 million hectares of native forest being burnt which is equivalent to 6 percent of all Australian native forest (Source: Australian Forestry journal editorial June 2020).
Harnessing high levels of motivation to protect treasured native vegetation and natural areas within local communities, the project builds upon impressive levels of local knowledge held by communities on the ground in each location. At the outset, the project will investigate and document appropriate plant species selection and develop planting methodologies that reduce the impact of catastrophic bushfire events.
Relevant community groups are currently being engaged in the development of a training program and educational resource materials. They are also being supported to develop seedbanks and propagate plants in community nurseries so that seedlings will be available for both suppression and revegetation plantings to assist prevention of and recovery after bushfires. Demonstration sites will be planted and landholders will be supported to undertake Fire Wise planting on their own sites.
This project received grant funding from the Australian Government through the Preparing Australian Communities – Local Stream Grant. The Fire Wise program is a key initiative in the Foundation’s Landscape Resilience program. We are greatly looking forward to supporting communities to undertake this important work.
Ian Darbyshire CEO of FNPW said “We are thrilled to be able to bring together both scientific evidence and local community knowledge, including Indigenous knowledge, to arrive at a program that is so important for the long-term sustainable future of our native Australian landscape. We must do everything we can to ensure this land will be strong and thriving for future generations to come.”
Media enquiries: David Goldman, 0407 455 709