The Darwin Agreement – a collaboration between Australasian environmental organisations to support the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration

Fourteen prominent Australasian environmental restoration organisations have announced the formation of a consortium to collaboratively support the objectives of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration – with more in the process of signing up.

The consortium agreement, referred to as the ‘Darwin Agreement’, was initiated at the SERA2021 conference where eight major restoration organisations presented talks on what the UN Decade means for their ongoing work in Australia.

“This UN Decade Consortium will accelerate the sharing of knowledge and skills from all of Australia’s leading restoration organisations, each of which has a unique specialisation to offer,” said Prof. Bruce Clarkson, Chair of SERA

This will enrich the practice of restoration right across the country, encouraging us all to work with natural processes to help our soils, waters, and plant and animal communities recover to the extent possible.”

Against a backdrop of environmental crises, the Consortium urges concerted support of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration by all sectors of society – policy makers, industry and communities – to retain ecosystems, reduce our impacts on them and to repair ecosystems to optimise potential for humanity to revive the natural world that supports us all.

“There has never been a more urgent time for all of us to pull together and ramp up efforts to reverse the damage done to our ecosystems, whilst curbing the impacts that will result in future degradation. The COVID-19 pandemic and 2019-2020 bushfire crisis are a stark reminder for us of the inextricable links between human and environmental health,” said Gary Howling, CEO of Great Eastern Ranges Initiative.

Large-scale conservation projects that focus on protecting, restoring and reconnecting landscapes at the whole-of-ecosystem and population level are critical for tackling the climate and biodiversity crisis and for ensuring a healthy, thriving future Australia for people and nature.”

Each of the Consortium members has a long track record of working for environmental conservation including ecosystem restoration and commits to promoting the goals of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, with particular focus on:

  • Reinforcing and clarifying our common purpose to help conserve and restore Australasian ecosystems
  • Promoting public awareness of the UN Decade as a focal opportunity for integrated restorative action by all sectors of society
  • Promoting best practice ecosystem restoration
  • Supporting a united communication voice around the UN Decade

Member organisations:

  • Australian Association of Bush Regenerators
  • Australian Coastal Restoration Network
  • Australian Network for Plant Conservation
  • Australian Seed Bank Partnership
  • Bush Heritage Australia
  • Gondwana Link
  • Great Eastern Ranges Initiative
  • Greening Australia
  • Invasive Species Council
  • Landcare Australia Ltd
  • National Landcare Network
  • Restore Australia
  • Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia
  • World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Australia

‘For us to meet the environmental challenge of the UN Decade all of us have a role. Whether artists, acrobats, teachers, tradies, billionaires or bankers – all of us can and must think up activities within our communities and families to celebrate, protect and restore nature, starting small and getting stronger as more people join to help. A farmer recently said to me ‘There’s a bit of green in all of us you know’ and he was spot on – and now is the time for each of us to show our little bit of green,” said Dr Tein McDonald, Convenor of the SERA UN Decade consortium.

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