“Reconnected country across south-western Australia, from the wet forests in the south west corner to the dry woodlands and mallee bordering the Nullarbor Plain, in which ecosystem function and biodiversity are restored and maintained”.
The vision for Gondwana Link was developed in 2002 and stimulated the process of imagining a better ecological future and the steps necessary to achieve that future. A swoosh map developed early in the program defined the broad area we focused on.
That vision has now been tested over time, underpinning substantial buy-in to Gondwana Link. So we haven’t changed the vision, because it was the right vision.
But a lot has been learnt since we started!
It’s now better understood that Gondwana Link is a people based process with ecological, social and cultural outcomes. It is about building a landscape where people and nature can live together, not in some sort of precarious ‘balance’, but a clever society where wild nature is robust and we have learnt how to live with it being interwoven amongst our homes and businesses.
We now have so many inspiring examples that underline this possibility. Farmers are finding wildlife coming back to habitats left amongst productive farms, Ngadju Conservation is back managing their land, and being a strong part of the Norseman community, University students are learning Noongar culture on restored farmland, Citizen Scientists are recording how habitats recover, new settlers are buying properties to protect and restore habitats and restoration tourism has become more than an empty phrase.
We started with a vision, and as our Noongar colleague Ezzard Flowers put: ‘We are now breathing life back into Boodja’ (country).