As we enter the United Nations Decade of Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030) we are very proud that Gondwana Link has demonstrated what large scale ecosystem restoration looks like, has gained broad public acceptance of that, and has worked with colleagues nationally and internationally to entrench large scale approaches. We are directly addressing the causes of decline and loss in Australia’s wildlife, not merely treating the symptoms.
Amongst the many achievements is the fact that, at last count, over thirty main organisations have supported and been involved in achieving the Link. These are amongst their many exciting collective achievements:
- Strategically focused protection and restoration work is now underway in all the main habitat gaps along the 1,000 km long link.
- In those key habitat gaps, over 16,000 hectares of rural properties have been purchased to date, with additional large areas secured by covenant with existing landholders, and some 13,500 ha of marginal farmland restored back to habitat so far, much to a high ecological standard.
- Much improved and wider application of feral animal control programs on private property across key parts of the Link.
- Groups assisted to develop a Conservation Action Plan for each of the eight key sections of the Link, and support given on request to keep this planning process ongoing, so that strategies are revised based on monitoring and evaluation.
- The 16 million ha Great Western Woodlands named and recognised for its conservation values.
- In the Great Western Woodlands, the Ngadju Conservation Aboriginal Corporation is now well established with a Ranger base and Ranger Team managing their 4.4 million hectare Indigenous Protected Area.
- With the Noongar community there are now a range of programs operating which focus on cultural education, reconnecting with country, youth at risk, family healing, training and work in technical aspects of restoration.
- Over 17,00 are estimated passed through various camps and courses at the Nowanup property, and a Statement of Intent is in place to further develop Nowanup as a campus of Curtin University, focused on education ‘done Noongar way’.
- Over 80 scientific papers and management reports have been produced from aspects of the program.
- An ongoing mix of citizen science monitoring program now operate, increasing our knowledge of the region and monitoring the habitat value of restored areas and the effectiveness of various restoration approaches.
- The recent development of a comprehensive communications package to widen the support we receive and assist in the acceleration of on-ground works. This includes the feature film ‘Breathing Life into Boodja’ and 10 short films on permanent display in the WA Museum Boola Bardip.
- A wide range of supporters from near and far visiting, communicating about and supporting Gondwana Link, with a visitor program called ‘Heartland Journeys’ commenced focused on ensuring the ecological richness, restoration activity and cultural richness bring with them much needed social and economic benefits.
- A working alliance formed with our main peer group in eastern Australia and another in New Zealand (CALLANZ – Conservation Across Large Landscapes Australia New Zealand).
- An ambitious three year partnership with Great Eastern ranges, and funded by The Ian Potter Foundation, to accelerate sharing of what has been learnt in our programs, and support the emergence of additional connectivity efforts across Australia.
In short, our ambitious approach becoming well accepted, supported and well on the way to achieving its vision.