Amanda Keesing and Gary Howling celebrate getting together to discuss The Ian Potter Foundation project.
In late 2019 Gondwana Link and our main Australian colleague organisation, the Great Eastern Ranges, were fortunate to receive a significant three year funding grant from The Ian Potter Foundation. The grant, combined with other funding and programs, will help us consolidate our current efforts, strengthen our collective science base and reach out to emerging connectivity conservation programs across Australia.
In confirming the grant, Mr Charles Goode AC, Chair of The Ian Potter Foundation said: “The Foundation is pleased to support conservation initiatives like GER and Gondwana Link which address both carbon storage and biodiversity loss at the whole-of-landscape scale. Their collaborative approach supported by a diverse network of partners empowers grassroots landowners and organisations. It also builds social capital, placing value on relationships and participation, with everyone playing their part and encouraging the wider community to get involved”.
We’re excited to be working together on a revitalised national approach. After spending some years helping develop the National Wildlife Corridor Plan, we were extremely disappointed to see it shelved by the incoming government in 2013. That weakened connectivity conservation across Australia at the very time many other nations are adopting ambitious large landscape approaches as a response to accelerating climate change.
The first year of our Potter program ended up somewhat different from planned – Great Eastern Ranges have had to focus on helping their communities recover from devastating wildfires, and then we all had to cope with COVID 19. Then we were both diverted into developing ambitious Restore Australia programs. Nonetheless, we have worked jointly on jointly developing our communication packages – reflected in our new websites – films and some other materials we are getting ready to launch. While uncertainty over COVID and its impacts remain, plans are now well underway to bring together a number of science and practitioner forums in 2021 – virtually if we have to.